BYZANTINE EARRINGS WITH CROSS PENDANTS
Measurements: 3.7 cm − height. Weight: 4.25 g.
Description: A matching pair of Byzantine gold earrings with cross pendants. Each earrings is consisting of a twisted wire hoop with closed-end fastening at the top, rectangular plaque with green glass paste insert and wavy border decoration, and gold cross pendants with central gold granule. The earring with composite pendant was the most common type of ear ornament of this period. This type consists of a hoop to which is attached a small ring holding a single pendant, with the basic scheme allowing certain variations of detail. Precious stones or glass bead 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. These earrings are suitable for modern wear, however, will need modern hooks or studs attached.
Reference: National Museums Liverpool
Further reading: Deppert-Lippitz, B., Late Roman and Early Byzantine Jewelry, in Brown, K. R., Kidd, D. & Little, C. T., ed., From Attila to Charlemagne. Arts of the Early Medieval Period in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000, pp. 58-77.
Period: 6th - 8th century AD
Condition: Very fine, intact, with minor encrustations over the whole. Minor imperfections to the green glass bead.