Height: 4.100 cm
Bequeathed by William Burges
Room 40: Medieval Europe
Gold pendant (kolt)
Kievan Rus', late 11th-early 12th
Made in Kiev, Ukraine
Female court regalia
This type of pendant formed part of the regalia that would have been worn at official ceremonies. The ceremonies would have taken place at the court of the Grand Princes of medieval Kiev, then the capital of the Christian state of Rus'. The pendants would have been manufactured in specialist jewellers' workshops attached to the court, the remains of which have been found in excavations of the site. This piece is one of the earliest of its type.
This gold temporal
pendant, or kolt, was
probably worn in the region of the temples as one of two pendants
suspended from a crown or headdress. The pendant is decorated in
The cloisonné technique is Byzantine in origin, and the decoration reflects mainly Christian and oriental influences. But the doves may also owe something to native tradition: birds were popular in early Slav art, occurring on the much earlier brooches of the Martinivka hoard and on a contemporary bracelet from a Kiev hoard.
H. Tait (ed.), Seven thousand years of jewell (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)