Byzantine Empire, Greece or Turkey, ca. 5th to 10th century CE. Lovely gold earrings presenting a stunning openwork design comprised of an outer channel of repeated figure eight motifs surrounding a central section of fancy curvilinear filigreed motifs. Adding to the luxurious effect is a border of seed pearls. The goldwork design is almost lacelike in appearance with each section of gold wire meticulously worked and joined not with solder but rather with verdigris to alter the melting point where it was applied. This technique was revealed in ancient writings - after having been lost for fifteen hundred years. The closure is comprised of a hinged rounded wire that fits a clasp. Gold of earring proper measures 16 karats. Closure wires measure 12 karats. Size: 1" L x 1" W (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm); 1.25" L (3.2 cm) including closure
Provenance: private L.S. Farrow collection, Colchester Borough, United Kingdom; acquired between the late 1970's and early 1980's
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