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coin pendant

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1879,0714.1

  • Description

    Gold coin pendant with cloisonné garnet and blue glass edge and loop, set with solidus of Valentinian II. The garnet border is in the form of a double-headed serpent.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 375-392 (coin)
    • 7thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 36 millimetres
    • Height: 35.5 millimetres (incl loop)
  • Curator's comments

    Coin re-used.Blurton 1997
    The Germanic tribes of early medieval Europe prized treasure and bold jewellery; above all gold, when they could get it, and the glitter and opulence of garnet inlay. From the Crimea to England, and from Norway to Spain, this garnet-inlaid style signalled wealth, power and status, enduring for almost three hundred years until the supply of both gold and garnets dwindled in the seventh century. The style drew upon the traditions of eastern nomadic peoples as well as on Roman jewellery techniques. The deep red colour of garnets, often laid over hatched foil to enhance their intensity and sparkle, was probably sought after by the Germanic elites because it evoked the imperial 'purple' of Rome.
    After the conversion to Christianity in the seventh century, pendants in the Byzantine style became popular on women's necklaces, worn singly, or sometimes in lavish clusters.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Blurton 1997 194 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G68/dc8/p2/no4

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    2012 - Present, London, BM, G68 Money Gallery
    1998 9 Feb-3 May, India, Mumbai, Sir Caswasjee Jahangir Hall, The Enduring Image
    1997 13 Oct-1998 5 Jan, India, New Delhi, National Museum, The Enduring Image

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1879

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1879,0714.1


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Object reference number: MCS13419

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