Gold and Niello Bracelet
- 5th–6th century
- Made in possibly Syria
- Gold, niello
- Overall: 2 3/8 x 2 3/8 x 7/8 in. (6.1 x 6.1 x 2.3 cm)
bezel: 7/8 x 1 x 9/16 in. (2.3 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm)
band ht: 13/16 in. (2 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
- Accession Number:
The bracelet's box housed a relic meant to protect the owner, whose name, probably Myras, appears in a monogram.
As Christianity became the dominant religion in Byzantine society, Christian imagery was increasingly found on jewelry. Crosses appear by the fifth century; the Virgin Mary, saints, angels, and other holy figures became popular in the sixth century. The images were thought to protect the wearer, aid in prayers, and even perform miracles.