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Byzantium and the West: Jewelry in the First Millennium by Jeffrey Spier, Sandra Hindman

By Jeffrey Spier, Sandra Hindman

This full-color catalog explores the interrelationships among the East and West through the first millennium. This was once the 1st time that the Roman Empire was once steadily changed via barbarian invaders, who unfold via Europe and created new sorts of jewellery; it was once additionally while the capital shifted eastward to the newly based urban of Constantinople.Among the subjects taken care of are the transition from past due Roman kinds to Byzantine ones, together with the layout of recent shapes; an curiosity in unique stones and alterations in style; the functionality of earrings (marriage, own monograms, professional prestige and non secular iconography); and the Western Gothic imitation and improvement of Byzantine prototypes.Examples from the early 3rd and fourth centuries in Rome function an difficult 'key' ring, pierced with the phrases utere felix (use with success) and an ornate but subtle band set fullyyt with emeralds. there's a past due fifth-century Byzantine Parure that features a pendant go and similar rings. From an identical period, an Ostogothic team is made out of polyhedral rings, a pendant pass and a hoop, all with attractive garnet inlay.Jeffrey Spier is a college affiliate and adjunct professor on the college of Arizona. He has released broadly on Greek and Roman gemstones and jewellery and on early Christian and Byzantine paintings. His courses contain: Treasures of the Ferrell assortment (2010); Picturing the Bible. The Earliest Christian artwork (2007); past due Antiquity and Early Christian gemstones (2007); and historical gemstones and Finger earrings: Catalogue of the Collections. The J. Paul Getty Museum (1993).The Preface is through Sandra Hindman, a medievalist and proprietor of Les Enluminures (Paris, Chicago and New York).Accompanying the exhibition, Byzantium and the West: jewellery within the First Millennium, held in November 2012 at Les Enluminures, manhattan

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1 Rings engraved with the busts of a married couple became very fashionable in the fourth and early fifth centuries throughout the Roman Empire and continued in sixth-century Byzantium. Gold ring with busts of a married couple 5th century (Ferrell Collection) fig. 2 Typically the portraits are generic and not particularly realistic, but sometimes these rings were personalized with the names of the couple. , Dumbarton Oaks, inv. 18) 62 L AT E R O M A N R I N G S , 4 T H - 5 T H C E N T U RY 7. 8 g; US size 7; UK size N ½ The ring is composed of eleven oval gold cells, each containing a highly polished cabochon emerald.

Syria fell to the invaders in 637, Egypt in 642, and Carthage in 698. In 717, Constantinople itself was 31 32 INTRODUCTION threatened, but the Arabs were driven back to eastern Asia Minor and the borders were stabilized. Internally, Byzantium in the early eighth century was divided by the iconoclastic controversy, during which time (c. 730-787) religious images were banned. Although there is no clear documentary evidence, iconoclasm appears to have severely affected the production of jewelry, for very few pieces dating from this period survive.

The letters in the monogram are always Greek, suggesting, along with the evidence of the find sites, that the fashion was popular in the East, primarily in Asia Minor and Syria. A number of these monogram gems have been discovered in their original rings, such as the fine example set with a red jasper in Cologne’s Museum für Angewante Kunst (fig. 1). All known examples of these rings, including the present one, are of well attested shapes dating from the early to mid-third century. Monograms of this type appear to have fallen out of fashion quickly and did not reappear in quantity until the fifth century, when personal monograms on gems and rings again became very popular (see cat.

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