Byzantine Gold Cross with Cabochon Garnet

£ 800.00

An extremely fine Byzantine gold cross, modelled from hollow high karat gold. The cross features the classic Latin-cross shape, centred by a single cabochon garnet inset, and a suspension loop to the top formed from a single twisted gold wire and enriched by a single gold granule. A wonderful example of Byzantine goldsmith art, once belonged to a member of the high class or a bishop. Weight: 3.4 g.

Date: Circa 6th- 8th century AD
Provenance: From the property of a Lonndon gentleman; formerly in an important collection of Christia art, acquired after 1970.
Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact, some earthly encrustations. The cross is suitable for modern wear with care.

SOLD

Product Code: BS-16
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 as a symbol of the crucifixion and the promise of salvation and everlasting life 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 H 5 cm
Metal

Gold

Semi-Precious Stone

Garnet

Region

Southern Europe

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