Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Gold and Niello Bracelet

Date:
5th–6th century
Geography:
Made in possibly Syria
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Gold, niello
Dimensions:
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)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.2054
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
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.
Inscription: (Monogram)
[ Arthur Sambon, Paris (sold 1911)]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1911–1913)
Schlunk, Helmut. Kunst der Spätantike im Mittelmeerraum: Spätantike und byzantinische Kleinkunst aus Berliner Besitz. Ausstellung aus Anlass des VI. Internationalen Kongresses für Archäologie. Berlin: W. de Gruyter & Co, 1939. no. 45, p. 21, fig. 45.

Elbern, Victor. "Das Frühbyzantinische Monogramm-Armband in Berlin und Sein Umkreis." Berliner Museen: Berichte aus den Staatlichen Museen des Preußischer Kulturbesitzes (Die Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), n.s., 16 (1967). pp. 2-5.

Amandry, Pierre. Collection Hélène Stathatos: Bijous et Petits Objets . Vol. 4. Strasbourg: Institute Archéologie de l'Université, 1971. no. 715, pp. 72-73, fig. 10.

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