These elaborately decorated bracelets have richly jeweled exteriors and finely detailed opus interrasile patterns on their interiors. The luminous beauty of pearls was highly prized in the Byzantine world.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Left: 17.190.1670, right: 17.190.1671
Left: 17.190.1670, right: 17.190.1671
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Dimensions:Overall: 1 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (3.8 x 8.2 cm) strap: 7/8 x 7 11/16 in. (2.3 x 19.5 cm) bezel: 1 5/16 in. (3.4 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Said to have been found near Assiut or Antinoe, near Nile (Upper Egypt); [ Maurice Nahman, Cairo (sold 1912)]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1912–1913)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century," November 19, 1977–February 12, 1978.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition," March 14–July 8, 2012.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Jewelry: The Body Transformed," November 12, 2018–February 24, 2019.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Africa & Byzantium," November 13, 2023–March 3, 2024.
Cleveland Museum of Art. "Africa & Byzantium," April 14–July 21, 2024.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 10, no. 6 (June 1915). pp. 7–8.
Dennison, Walter. Studies in East Christian and Roman Art: Part II, A Gold Treasure of the Late Roman Period. University of Michigan Studies, Humanistic Series, Vol. 12. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1918. no. 28, 29, pp. 157–59, pl. XLIX.
Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 40.
Peirce, Hayford, and Royall Tyler. L'art Byzantin. Vol. 2. Paris: Librarie de France, 1934. pp. 135–36, pl. 200a–b.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mediaeval Jewelry: A Picture Book. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. pl. 1.
Wagner de Kertesz, Margarita. Historia Universal de las Joyas. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Centurion, 1947. p. 266.
Schlunk, Helmut. "The Crosses of Oviedo : A Contribution to the History of Jewelry in Northern Spain in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries." The Art Bulletin 32 (June 1950). p. 98 n. 48.
Rorimer, James J., and William Holmes Forsyth. "The Medieval Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 12, no. 6 (February 1954). p. 126.
Grabar, André, and Vanoest. "Les Bracelets de Lux Romains et Byzantins du II au VI Siècle. Étude de la Forme et de la Structure." Cahiers Archéologiques 21 (1971).
Weitzmann, Kurt. "The Late Roman World." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 35, no. 2 (Autumn 1977). no. 52, p. 57, fig. 52.
Brown, Katharine R. "The Mosaics of San Vitale: Evidence for the Attribution of Some Early Byzantine Jewelry to Court Workshops." Gesta 18, no. 1 (1979). p. 58, fig. 5.
Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. no. 300, pp. 323–24.
Shepard, Mary B. Europe in the Middle Ages, edited by Charles T. Little, and Timothy B. Husband. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 34–35, pl. 24.
Brown, Katharine R. Migration Art, A.D. 300-800. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. pp.16, 49–51, fig. 12.
Geroulanou, Aimilia. Diatrita: Gold Pierced-Work Jewelery from the 3rd to the 7th Century. Athens: Benaki Museum, 1999. no. 228, pp. 64, 101, 245, fig. 90, 175.
Brown, Katharine R., Dafydd Kidd, and Charles T. Little, ed. From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. p. 71, 341, fig. 7.14.
Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). p. 19.
Cormack, Robin, and Maria Vassilaki, ed. Byzantium 330–1453. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2008. no. 142, pp. 182, 414, ill. p. 182.
Yeroulanou, Aimilia. "Common Elements in 'Treasures' of the Early Christian Period.." In Byzanz – das Römerreich im Mittelalter: Volume 1, Welt der Ideen, Welt der Dinge, edited by Falko Daim, and Jörg Drauschke. Mainz: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, 2010. pp. 352–353, fig. 22.
Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th–9th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 126, fig. 54.
Dospěl Williams, Elizabeth. "Into the Hands of a Well-Known Antiquary of Cairo: The Assiut Treasure and the Making of an Archaeological Hoard." West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture 21, no. 2 (2014). fig. 5, pp. 257, 259.
Holcomb, Melanie, ed. Jewelry: The Body Transformed. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018. no. 94, pp. 117–18, 266, pl. 94.
Hope, Deborah. "Pearls Found in Ancient Greek and Roman Contexts in the Mediterranean." Mediterranean Archaeology (2019). pp. 46, 80, pl. 10, fig. 5.
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