Exquisite Polychromatic Byzantine Gold Pendant

£ 850.00

A beautifully rendered Byzantine gold circular pendant. Originally an earring, the jewel was reworked in antiquity to form a pendant, with the addition of a twisted gold wire suspension loop at the top, flanked by four glass beads on each side. The beads display different hues of green and blue, adding an alluring polychromy to the piece, further enriched by the cabochon garnet and amethyst insets at the centre of the pendant. Below the stones, the gold sheet has been carefully hammered to show a decorative band of circular elements. Furthermore, a row of extremely fine openwork gold to the bottom, topped by another of very fine gold granules, completes this magnificent example of the absolute mastery of Byzantine goldsmiths. The reverse appears flat and unworked. Weight: 5.09 g.

Date: Circa 8th - 14th century AD
Condition: Extremely fine, some earthly encrustations. Suitable for modern wear with care.
Product Code: BS-27
Categories: , 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. Gold especially was the favoured medium, which was finely and elaborately worked into beautiful jewellery pieces, such as this striking pendant. 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.

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

Dimensions W 3.5 cm
Region

Southern Europe

Metal

Gold

Semi-Precious Stone

Amethyst, Garnet

Glass

Glass Paste

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