Hat Badge Representing Prudence

One of the most popular types of jewels at the English court, the hat badge signaled the taste, wealth, and virtue of its owner. Such pieces could be attached to the brim of a hat with a pin or by stitching through metal loops at the top and bottom. In this work, Prudence, personified by a young woman in ancient Roman dress, regards herself in a mirror—reflecting on the true nature of her character and actions.

Unknown maker, French
Hat Badge Representing Prudence, 1550–60
Gold, enamel (white, blue, red, and black), chalcedony, and glass in the form of a table-cut diamond
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; 85.SE.238