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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Cross Necklace
Identifier: 2005.1.25
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: c.1880
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A black flowered pietra dura cross on a silver rope chain. The cross is black marble with inset flowers and leaves in white, green, blue and brown. The main design has a white lily in the centre with blue forget me knots and white lily buds surrounded by leaves. The bale attached to the cross is 15 carat gold. The silver rope chain has a spring ring closure.

History: Pietra Dura is a form of decorative inlay made from pieces of cut stone cemented in black marble. Pietra Dura (Italian for hard stone) was usually restricted to floral designs in the 19th century and were made in Italy and exported to other counties where they were mounted. One English workshop produced this type of work in Derbyshire and was owned by the Duke of Devonshire. This type of work was also known as Florentine as the technique was developed in Florence in the late 16th century for use in table tops and furniture panels.

Kathleen Agnes Sayers ne Colloton (1907 -1981) was Geoffrey Harris Sayers' wife. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (ne Colloton) married in 18 November 1933 at St. Peter's Anglican Church, Erindale, which the Harris family had been members for almost a hundred years. Geoff and Kay occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. Kay and Geoffrey never had any children and were the last Harris relatives to live at Benares.

This jewellery was part of Kay Sayers Estate and was donated by Geoffrey Sayers. Many of these pieces were originally from inheritances through the Harris and Draper families.

This cross may have come from Matilda Lindsay in Scotland and was given to Bessie Harris as we have a picture of her wearing the cross.
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