Brooch with Intaglio of an Emperor

Ottonian (Rhineland (?)) (setting); Byzantine (intaglio)

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14

At its center this brooch features a rare, late Roman intaglio sapphire carved with the profile image of one of the sons of Emperor Constantine. The delicate arcade supporting the gem is typical of  goldmsiths’ work created centuries later for the Ottonian emperors, who considered themselves heirs of Constantine’s Christian Roman empire. It seems therefore likely that this piece was created for a member of the Ottonian imperial family, who, by wearing it, affirmed that bond.

Brooch with Intaglio of an Emperor, Star sapphire, pearls, gold, Ottonian (Rhineland (?)) (setting); Byzantine (intaglio)

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