Diameter: 5.200 cm
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan
Room 40: Medieval Europe
Slav (Kiev type), 12th century
From a hoard found in Trekhsvyatytelska Street, Kiev, Ukraine
Female court regalia
This silver temporal pendant or earring is one of a pair. It would have been worn in the region of the temples, suspended from a crown or head-dress. The pendant is decorated with an interlaced, mythical animal and geometric designs on a black, nielloed ground. The animal may be a dynastic symbol. Silver pendants of this type are later versions of gold examples and, like their predecessors, would have been worn at ceremonial occasions. Such occasions would have taken place in the princely court of Kiev, the capital of the early state of Rus'.
The pendant was found in 1906, as part of a hoard that contained other fine jewellery and two silver ingots. It was buried in a metal casket in Trekhsvyatytelska Street (Street of the Three Saints), opposite the gates of the Mikhailovsky Golden Dome Monastery in Kiev. Gold jewellery from the same hoard is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The hoard was probably buried at the time of the Tartar invasions and sack of Kiev around 1240.
H. Tait (ed.), Seven thousand years of jewell (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)