Byzantine Gold Earrings with Filigree Details


A pair of striking Byzantine gold earrings. Each earring features a crescent section decorated with rows of delicate filigree in the form of spirals. Five large gold granules adorn the perimeter of the crescent. One end of the hoop is twisted around the loop at the other end, closing the earrings.

Date: 10th-12th century AD
Period: Middle Byzantine Period
Provenance: Formerly in the private collection of a Japanese gentlemen (deceased), formed 1970s-2010s.
Condition: Very fine condition.

In stock

SKU: XJ-27 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. An earring with a composite pendant was the most common type of ear ornament during the Byzantine Empire. This type consists of a hoop with 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.

To find out more about the Byzantine world please see our relevant blog post: The Byzantine Empire: Art and Christianity.

To find out more about different metal decorative techniques please see our relevant blog post: Decorative Metalwork Techniques

Weight 6.04 g
Dimensions L 3.2 x W 2.7 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, London, item 1904,1129.10

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