domino" (Since we should pour libations to God out of gems and gold, I,
Suger, offer this vessel to the Lord). This vase, which is now in the
Louvre and is of sardonyx, was enriched with many precious stones and
with nineteen Scotch and oriental pearls. The value given was 1500
livres (about $1000).
book beginning : "Kyrie Eleison," with covers of wood, one overlaid
with gold and the other with silver. On the golden cover was an ivory
crucifix, and images, in ivory, of the Virgin Mary and of St. John. The
cross was bordered with seed-pearls, as were the diadems of the
images. The cover was also decorated with an engraved crysolite, an
engraved peridot, and with sapphires, emeralds, and garnets.1
curious item regarding the use of pearls in embroidery is contained in
one of the inventories of the dukes of Burgundy, made in 1414; this
reads as follows:
sum of 276 livres 7 sols 6 deniers tournois (about $960), the price of
960 pearls destined to ornament a dress ; along the sleeves are
embroidered the words of the song "Madame, je suis joyeulx," and the
notes are also marked along the sleeves. On each sleeve are 264 pearls
which help in forming the notes of the said song, numbering 142 ; that
is to say, a square made of four pearls for each note.2
is made in two old French documents of the use of pearls from Compiègne
in ornamentation. In the "Inventaire de la royne Clémence," in 1328, we
read of "a cock covered with precious stones and bearing a pearl of
Compiègne"; and in the "Comptes Royaux," under date of 1353, appears
this item: "For four pearls, oriental, Scotch and of Compiègne, for the
said arm-chair, 48 crowns." As these pearls could not have been found
in Compiègne, we may suppose that there was a market for their sale in
that place, which gave rise to the designation.3
English authority and writer on early English silver, F. Alfred Jones,
communicated, under date of September, 1907, that pearls were rarely
used in old English plate; in fact, any such embellishments were of
exceedingly infrequent occurrence. They are, however, frequently
mentioned in the inventory of the marvelous collection of gold plate
dispersed by Charles I of England, which may have dated from the time
of the looting of the churches and monasteries by Henry VIII.
The following items are from the inventories of Philip II of Spain
"Bibl. Natl. MS. français, 4611, folio, pp. 3 See De Laborde. "Emaux," Paris, 1853, 433 in parchment.
Vol. II, p. 437.
2 "Inventaires des Ducs de Bourgogne," De Laborde, "Emaux," Vol. II, p. 438.