EXTRAORDINARY BYZANTINE GOLD BRACELET
Measurements: 6.3 cm – horizontal diameter, 5.9 cm – vertical diameter, 1.5 cm – height of the filigree band, 35 g - weight
Description: This wonderful bracelet consists of a penannular hoop formed as a rectangular frame with median band of two-strand guilloche flanked by bands of filigree volute scrolls with granule detailing; hinged closures with discoid clasp formed with similar filigree motifs and central cell with ropework border and inset cabochon emerald.
Opus interrasile is a pierced openwork metalworking technique found from the 3rd century AD, and remaining popular in Byzantine jewellery. It was developed and popularised in Rome, where metalworkers used it to make arabesques and other similar designs. The technique involves punching holes in metal to simulate lattice patterns, which were often drawn on the metal, and then various tools used to remove the desired pieces.
Provenance: From a noble Russian family by descent.
Reference: Entwistle, C. & Adams, N. Intelligible Beauty, Recent Research into Byzantine Jewellery, London, 2010, p.45, plate 18.
Period: 5th – 6th cent. AD
Condition: Very fine, intact and slightly bent. Please refer to the photos. For any modern alterations consult a professional jeweller.
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