Ca. AD 600
A beautiful matched pair of Byzantine gold earrings, each with a tapering hoop, hook-and-clasp closure, and a single elongated pendant. The pendant is composed of glass and pearl spherical beads, attached to a cord of woven gold wire. Earrings featuring stones of different colors and luminous pearls were some of the most highly prized jewelry types of the Early Byzantine world.
The Byzantine Empire lasted for more than 1,100 years from the founding of its capital, Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), in AD 330 to the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks in AD 1453. The Byzantine Empire was the successor of Rome in the eastern Mediterranean and was justly famous for the elegance of its jewellery, whether in precious metals for empresses and aristocratic women, or in bronze for people further down the social ladder. These beautiful earrings may once have adorned the ears of a Byzantine noblewoman. These earrings date from the end of the Early Byzantine Period (AD 330-800).
Provenance: From an old British collection, acquired on the UK art market in the 1980s.
BYZANTINE MATCHING PAIR OF GOLD EARRINGS WITH PEARLS AND GLASS BEADS
Size: L: 76.1-77.7mm / W: 18.4-18.8mm ; 6.55g