Byzantine Gold Earrings with a Cross

£ 1,500.00

An elegant Byzantine matched pair of gold earrings, each composed of a twisted wire hoop with discoid plaque, featuring a central granule and a beaded wire border. The earrings are further enriched by a vertical corrugated tube featuring a cruciform applique to the outer face. Weight: 4.5 g.

Date: Circa 6th-8th Century AD
Provenance: From the important collection of Christian artefacts formed by a London gentleman; acquired on the London art market prior to 1980.
Condition: Very fine. The earrings are suitable for modern ware if attached to modern gold hooks, which is an easy procedure that won’t harm the items, please consult a professional jeweller for alterations.
Product Code: BS-02
Category: Tags: , ,

Byzantine jewellery was a continuation of Roman traditions. As in many other cultures throughout Antiquity, 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. Earrings with composite pendants were the most common type of ear ornaments during the Byzantine Empire. This type consists of a hoop to which a small ring holding a single pendant is attached, with the basic scheme allowing certain variations of detail. Precious stones or glass beads may be mounted in box-settings of square, rectangular, or circular shape. We know from literary sources that the production of precious metalwork and jewellery in Imperial workshops was controlled by the Imperial treasury, or officinum, which supervised the Imperial factories that made precious metalwork.

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

Dimensions L 3.8 cm



Southern Europe

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