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Seventeenth century double sided enameled silver pomander. Probably German ca 1680.
Measurements : 38 mm x 22 mm
Pomanders were first mentioned in European literature in the mid-thirteenth century.They were used in the late Middle Ages through the 17th century.
The pomander was worn as protection against infection in times of pestilence or merely as a useful article to modify bad smells. The globular cases which contained the pomanders were hung from a neck-chain belt, and were usually perforated.
The pomme d’ambre was a typically medieval ornament, most probably worn out of necessity more than for beauty. The apples of amber, or pomanders, were elaborate openwork metal in shape of a hollow sphere. Pomanders were used initially to carry a religious image or relic. They soon became highly ornamental and were divided into sections, each of which held a different perfume. One can understand the need for these objects, for cleanliness was not the order of the day.
By the seventeenth century pomanders have evolved into a highly diverse practical but fashion oriented articles.