Byzantine Gold Earrings with Pearl and Garnet Crosses

£ 2,950.00

An exquisite pair of early Byzantine gold earrings featuring a pearl and garnet cross drop pendant. Each earring features a tapering hoop, used to attach to the ear, which follows with a gold chain, suspending the cross. The cross is composed of a square gold mount, set with a polished garnet cabochon. The arms of the cross are formed from four lustrous pearls.  Another drop pendant, formed from a gold stem with a coiled wire sleeve, is positioned next to the chain. A gold, granulated bead forms the terminal, positioned above a faceted emerald bead below. A beautiful and rare pair of earrings, exhibiting excellent craftsmanship.

Date: Circa 6th-7th century AD
Provenance: Acquired 1980-2015. Ex Abelita family collection
Condition: Excellent condition. Repair to the emerald beads.

In stock

SKU: LJ-07 Category: Tags: , , ,

Byzantine jewellery was a full continuation of the Roman traditions. Production in the old jewellery centres of Alexandria and Antioch gave way to an increased production in Constantinople. In the Byzantine Empire, jewellery played an important role. It acted as a way to express one’s status and as a diplomatic tool.

Chain earrings such as this were popular pieces, although few have survived. Mostly dated to the early Byzantine Empire, they highlight the skill and craft of Byzantine jewellers.

To discover more on the decorative metalwork used on these earrings, please visit our blog page: Decorative Metalwork Techniques.

Weight 13.6 g
Dimensions L 9.7 cm




Semi-Precious Stones

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Reference: For Similar: Christie’s Auction House, New York, Auction 2491, Ancient Jewellery, 7th December 2011, lot 449

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