A Byzantine Gold Crescent Pendant with Peacocks, ca. 6th - 7th century CE
This handsome Byzantine pendant was not just a cherished piece of jewelry. It also made a statement about the faith of its wearer. In this example, the openwork pendant is delicately formed into a crescent, with two arches along the inverse side and outlined with a granulated border. The interior features two peacocks drinking from a central vase with water emerging from the top. Such peacock-and-fountain motifs appeared in Christian contexts during the late Roman era and remained popular throughout the Byzantine period, representing immortality, resurrection, and eternal life. These qualities would have been enhanced by the intrinsic value of the pendant. Because gold never lost its monetary value, such jewelry was a form of portable wealth, emphasizing status.
The pierced open work technique employed to create the design is called opus interrasile, an ingenious method of forming patterns by making openings in flat metal surfaces. This approach highlights the play of light and shadow and was one of the more innovative jewelry-making methods used in Late Antique and Early Byzantine styles.
Dimensions: Pendant length: 3/4 inch (1.9 cm).
Condition: Tiny loss to the left tip of the pendant otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall. Shown strung on a modern 18-inch chain of 18K gold, suitable for wearing.
Provenance: Private East Coast collection, acquired prior to 1979 and then by descent.
QUESTIONS? Just click the Contact Us tab on your right.
We ship Tuesday to Friday with FedEx and usually same day if your order is received before 2pm. Within the continental USA, packing, shipping and insurance is free. Depending on size and destination, delivery times range from one to five business days.
For overseas shipments we charge a small flat rate which includes packing, preparation of all customs paperwork, insurance and carrier fees in compliance with all USA and International customs requirements.
Overseas shipments are sent using FedEx International priority but contact us if you have a shipping preference. International customers are responsible for all duties and taxes.
Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every object you purchase from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance, and age.
Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution, or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.