This rectangular shaped brass escutcheon is a decorative plate that was used to protect and conceal a keyhole, door handle, or light switch. A horizontal molding crowns the top and has a decorative raised surface marked with a floral design at the center and scrolls at either end. Below this molding, and at the center of the plate, is a convex vertical rectangle outlined in a thin border of worn brass, that appears gold. Within the rectangle there’s a wider vertical piece in the center, also golden. Within the centered piece, is a perfectly round hole at the top and a square opening approximately half way down. The figures of two women on either side of the plate appear to be holding the façade atop their heads. Their outside arms are bent upwards and hold each end of the façade. Their inside arms hang straight down and lean against the center piece. They are dressed in loosely draped knee length togas cinched at the waist. The base of the escutcheon, on which the women stand has a floral design, round hold at the center and two lion’s heads in profile on either end.
Isabella Stewart Gardner kept meticulous records of many of her acquisitions. In keeping with this legacy, object information is continually being reviewed, updated, and enriched in order to give greater access to the collection.