Byzantine Gold Amulet Case

£ 450.00

A fascinating Byzantine gold amulet cylindrical case, modelled from a sheet of gold. The item features a flat cap on one end, three round suspension loops applied on one side, surmounted and sided with a hollow gold granule. To the bottom of the item, three pyramidal clusters of gold granules mirroring the position of the loops at the top. The body of the case is further embellished with three parallel bands of applied gold strips and wires arranged in a geometrical composition. Weight: 3.35 g.

Date: 9th -12th Century AD
Provenance: Ex important Mayfair collection by descent, 1970-1999.
Condition: Fine. Suitable for modern wear with care.
Product Code: BS-18
Category: Tags: ,

In Byzantine society, reliquary and amulet holders, such as this beautiful example, would be employed to hold lamellae, very thin metal sheets inscribed with magical incantations that could serve a large array of purposes, from easing ill physical conditions, to assist women with child birth. These thin metal sheets would be tightly rolled and inserted in the cylindrical case. Although worn to protect the owner in everyday life, such amulet cases have also been found in funerary contexts, suggesting their apotropaic purpose was likely believed to extend to the afterlife.

To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.


Dimensions W 3.1 cm



Southern Europe

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