An extremely well preserve Late Roman-Early Byzantine crescent moon pendant, modelled from high karat gold. The pendant is composed of a pennanular shape, with each arm ending in a single gold granule. Further enrichments include gold granules to the pendant’s arms, arranged in clusters and as pairs, and two twisted gold wires, each extending from the top of the pendant to the base, crossing each other in the middle. A thick and ribbed gold loop has been attached to the top. The reverse appears flat and unworked. Weight: 2.4 g.
Date: Circa 3rd-5th Century AD Provenance: Ex. London collection, 1980-2018. Condition: Extremely fine. The pendant is suitable for modern wear with care.
Across many ancient civilisations, jewellery played an extremely social role, used to demonstrate wealth, power but also worn with an apotropaic nature. Lunula pendants were piece of jewellery modelled in the shape of a crescent moon worn by girls in Ancient Rome, as a protection against the evil and to attract good fortune. However, lunar motives became extremely popular in Roman jewellery across all the territories of the Roman Empire, with necklaces featuring lunar pendants recovered in Britain and portrayed in Romano-Egyptian funerary portraits.