Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Pair of Jeweled Bracelets, 500–700
    Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople
    Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, and emerald plasma; Diam. 3 1/4 in. (8.2 cm)
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670, 1671)

    These elaborately decorated bracelets have richly jeweled exteriors and finely detailed opus interassile (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.

    This work of art also appears on Connections: Jewelry

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    On view: Gallery 302
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  • Pair of Jeweled Bracelets, 500–700
    Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople
    Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, and emerald plasma; Diam. 3 1/4 in. (8.2 cm)
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670, 1671)

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