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Jeweled Bracelet

Date:
6th–7th century
Geography:
Made in probably Constantinople
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, emerald plasma
Dimensions:
Overall: 1 7/16 x 3 1/4 in. (3.7 x 8.2 cm) strap: 15/16 x 7 7/8 in. (2.4 x 20 cm) bezel: 1 5/16 in. (3.4 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.1670
  • Description

    These elaborately decorated bracelets have richly jeweled exteriors and finely detailed opus interrasile (openwork) patterns on their interiors. The luminous beauty of pearls was highly prized in the Byzantine world. These bracelets are only two of thirty-four pieces of gold jewelry from Egypt said to have been found near Lycopolis (now Assiut) or Antinoopolis (Antinoe, now Sheik Ibada) in Egypt at the turn of the century. Whether discovered together, or later assembled, they represent the standard of luxury common among the elite in Egypt during the period of Byzantine rule and the close connections between the wealthy province and the capital in Constantinople. Multicolored, or polychrome, jewelry was very popular in the Early Byzantine world.

  • Provenance

    Found near Assiut, Egypt (?); Maurice Nahman, Cairo; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
464077

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