Byzantine Gold Bangle with Crosses

£ 3,500.00

An extremely fine Byzantine hollow gold bangle, composed of a penannular form, slightly bulging to the centre, and featuring terminals with deep-red garnet insets. The bangle appears enriched by gold granules arranged to form a solar-shaped pattern, comprising rays expanding from a central garnet inset, held in a gold cell. The decorative motif of the Christian cross appears rendered in granulation technique to the bangle’s centre and terminals. Weight: 19.9 g.

Date: Circa 6th-9th Century AD
Provenance: From the property of a London gentleman; formerly in an important collection of Christian art, acquired after 1970.
Condition: Extremely fine, with some signs of ageing to the surface.


Product Code: BS-14
Category: Tags: , ,

Byzantine jewellery was a continuation of Roman traditions. As in many other cultures throughout history, Byzantine jewellery acted not only as an embellishment, but most importantly as a direct display of someone’s wealth and social status. Interestingly, it also acted as a diplomatic tool. Christian religion was very much at the heart of Byzantine culture, politically, socially and artistically. It was an empire run as a theocracy, ruled by God working through the Emperor, and political ideals were largely informed by Christian values. This permeated visual culture as well, not only in terms of art that was explicitly religious in its purpose.  With Christian religion becoming the primary religion across the Byzantine Empire, Christian iconography became an extremely popular decorative motif displayed on many smaller decorative items and wares. Crosses were the first Christian imaginary to appear on earrings, rings and necklaces, while depiction of saints, angels and the Virgin appeared around the 6th century AD.

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

Dimensions L 7.3 cm


Semi-Precious Stone



Southern Europe

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