Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
Pearl Garland for Queen Eleonora
©2015 by Cynthia Rutledge

Pearl Garland for Queen Eleonora  ©2015 by Cynthia RutledgeWhen I first set eyes on the painting of Eleonora of Austria (1498 - 1558) by Joos van Cleve (1485 - 1540/1541) (c. 1530), I knew that it was only a matter of time before I had to design a necklace inspired by her beautiful pearl and gemstone garland (a large necklace that could be worn around the neck or waist) depicted in the painting.

This lovely painting shows the Queen consort wearing a brocade bodice with ermine and ruched fabric sleeves. The sleeves appear to be tied onto the bodice with cream-colored ties that have set gemstones sewn over the ties. The top edges of the bodice have a track of set gemstones and pearls to add to the opulence of the gown.

Pearl Garland for Queen Eleonora  ©2015 by Cynthia RutledgeEleonora is wearing a beautiful small tiara of set stones and pearls that ends over the ears with a large medallion-shape bezeled gemstone and a huge pearl drop. But it is the garland that first attracted my attention, as it looks beaded! Alternating bezeled gemstones and pearls, divided by some form of a chain, left me in wonder. Very intriguing!

My inspiration, Pearl Garland for Queen Eleonora, has three different medallions styles that link together using small circular links. The combination of pearls, seed beads and a fun new bead shape, makes this design intriguing in its construction and lovely to wear. The necklace ends in two beaded buttons and a connector loop, to keep the focal component centered. A beautiful necklace fit for a Queen!

Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced

Workshop length: 1 day

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