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Necklace with Pendants

Necklace with Pendants

500s

Gold, garnets

Part 1: 56.5 cm (22 1/4 in.); Part 2: 4.5 x 3.1 x 1.6 cm (1 3/4 x 1 1/4 x 5/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1954.3

Fun Fact

Just as some of us wear jewelry associated with our particular faith, the original owner of this necklace proudly wore this cross a symbol of their Christian beliefs.

Description

Wearing richly decorated gold necklaces such as this one was a common practice among members of Byzantium’s upper classes. In addition to their use as personal adornments and symbols of social status, necklaces with cross pendants and capsules containing relics were also believed to function as powerful protective devices. Here, two hexagonal gold cylinders that may have enclosed either magical texts or holy substances flank a cross pendant on either side.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Byzantine
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Gold, garnets

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