A 9th century Byzantine pendant.
Near East / Holy Land, Byzantine Empire, ca. 6th to 9th century CE. A lovely 75% gold (equivalent to 18K) crescent-shaped pendant featuring a large square inlay of deep, wine red glass and two smaller round glass circular inlays, giving its face an appearance of stained glass. Dangling gold baubles hang on either side of the crescent's interior while the center features a magnificent openwork bird made of thin gold wire, with four pearls hanging from it on gold posts. Granulations outline the crescent while its interior is decorated with fine gold filigree. A thick, triangular loop at the top of the crescent - also decorated with filigree - serves as a beautiful suspension point. Size: 2.2" W x 2.15" H (5.6 cm x 5.5 cm); 75% gold (equivalent to 18K); total weight is 11 grams
Provenance: ex-private Johnson collection, Houston, Texas, USA, acquired before 2013 via family descent.