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brc

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Tooth-pick pendant in the form of a mermaid. A ‘baroque’ pearl forms mermaid’s bare torso, to which a gold head and an enamelled gold tail have been added. Around her waist three rubies are set in cartouches. The style is late 16th-century, when such toothpicks were fashionable luxury items in Italy, German and Spain – but this one is probably a 19th-century fake. The use of a pearl as a mermaid’s body echoes a similar toothpick in Dresden’s Green Vault (the Saxon treasury).

Gold and pearl toothpick pendant in the form of a mermaid. A large irregularly shaped 'baroque' pearl forms the torso of the mermaid and has been left totally in the round. The attached gold head, facing front, wears an elaborate head-dress of enamelled s