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Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description A pomander was a pierced container, usually of highly decorated metal, containing an aromatic substance, such as balsam resin or ambergris (a sweet-smelling oily wax regurgitated by the sperm whale), worn to protect against bad odors. Women often suspended them from their girdle (belt). "Pomander" can also refer to the sweet-smelling substances themselves, which today we may put in a drawer with linens or underwear. Here, a small pomander is combined with a toothpick, a necessity in the time before toothbrushes. Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) carried one. During the 1600s, the popularity of wooden toothpicks made carrying one like this a bit old-fashioned.
Date Description Narrative
7/18/1969Examinationexamined for condition
6/17/1983Loan Considerationexamined for loan
9/01/1984Treatmentcleaned; coated
1/24/1988Treatmentcleaned; examined for condition
5/09/1991Examinationexamined for condition
  • World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Objects of Adornment: Five Thousand Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 1984-1987.
  • Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery and the Zucker Family Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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1550-1600 (Renaissance)
gold, enamel, diamond, rubies, pearls
Accession Number
3 3/16 in. (8.1 cm)


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