Jewish Pilgrimage glass

jewbyzoctbottle This is a moulded glass bottle, made between 500-650 C.E. It is octagonal in shape, 9.2 cm by 9.4 cm by 9.4 cm. It is decorated with the Jewish symbols of the menorah, the shofar, an incense shovel and the lulav. The bottle was made in Byzantine ruled Syria and was thought to have been made for Jewish pilgrims going to the Holy Land. The bottle is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

blackoctbottle This bottle also is octagonally shaped but the dimensions are 8.1 cm by 7 cm by 7.7 cm. The bottle also has been decorated with the Jewish symbols of the lulav, menorah, incense shovel and shofar. It was mold-blown glass, made between 578–636 C.E. The bottle is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

jewbyzhexjug This molded glass jug is hexagonal in shape and also decorated with the Jewish symbols mentioned above. The dimensions are 15.7 cm by 7.4 cm by 6.8 cm. The jug is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. All three items were thought to have been made in the one workshop.

Recommended reading
Population, Settlement and Economy in Late Roman and Byzantine Palestine (70-641 AD) by Doron Bar. JStor article.
A Court Jew’s Silver Cup by Vivian B. Mann. Metropolitan Museum Journal.
An Empire’s New Holy Land: The Byzantine Period by S. Thomas Parker. JStor article.
Judaism During the Byzantine Period by Yitzchak Schwartz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Blog.
Religious Contacts in Byzantine Palestine by Gedaliahu G. Stroumsa. JStor article.

Some Byzantine jewelry from the 6th-7th century

byzearringwithpearls This earring is made from gold wire with pearls and sapphires. It is 6.1 cm by 2.4 cm by 1.2 cm. The weight of the earring is 12 grams. The earring is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byzearringwithdroppearls This earring is also made from gold wire with braided gold and pearls. The ring is 2.5 cm, with the earring itself being 8.3 cm by 3.1 cm overall with a thickness of 0.7 cm. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byzearringhalfmoon This gold earring was made using a technique called opus interrasile, or pierced openwork, with two peacocks used in the design. It is 5.5 cm by 4.9 cm with a thickness of 0.3 cm. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byznecklacewithpendants This necklace is gold, with gold pendants that have been made from a sheet that was also decorated with opus interrasile but with wire beading (granulation) too. Detail- byznecklacedetail The pendants have been separated with gold tubes made from sheet gold with wire beading. The chain is 55 cm, the medallion pendants are 4.9 cm by 3.8 cm with a 0.7 cm thickness. The petal pendant is 4.7 cm by 2.6 cm with the same thickness. The tubes are 3.6 and 0.9 cm thick. The necklace is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byzivybracelet This bracelet has been made using opus interrasile, with ivy leaf scrolls. The bracelet is 17.8 cm around, 3.1 cm wide with a thickness of 0.5 cm. The bracelet is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recommended reading
The Met has publications covering Byzantine art & jewelry available for sale and download (in pdf format).

From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in The Metropolitan Museum of Art edited by Brown, K.; Little, C. and Kidd, D. Publication available for download.

The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843–1261 edited by Evans, H & Wixom, W. Publication available for download.

Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition edited by Evans, H. Publication available for purchase.

A Byzantine Egyptian comb

byzegyptcomb This is an elephant ivory comb found in Antinoe, Egypt which dates from the 5th century C.E. At that time Egypt was under the Byzantine Empire. The comb is 6.7 cm long and 17 cm high. Whilst many of the teeth are not remaining, the carved picture remains. byzegyptcombfrontdetail The carving is of a pantomime or dance competition. There are three figures (one man and two women) as well as a Greek inscription. byzegyptcombreverse The Greek inscription says “Long live Helladia’s fortune and the Blues! Amen!”. The central figure would have been the actress Helladia, with the comb inscribed to celebrate her victory in the competition. The Greek inscription also has a reference to the Blues, known as one of the Circus factions of Egypt. The comb is in the Louvre Museum.

Byzantine Egyptian Ivory

This ivory of a female nude was carved in 5th century Egypt, which was under Byzantine rule at the time. It is 11 x 4.8 cm, carved in high relief on a background that had been broken away. The ivory is missing her left arm and bottom of her legs. The ivory is at the Walters Art Museum.
Recommended reading
Egypt in the Byzantine World, 300-700 by Roger S. Bagnall. Via Google Books.
The Arts of Byzantium by Helen C. Evans, Melanie Holcomb and Robert Hallman. JStor article.
Transfigurations of Hellenism by László Török. Via Scribd.

Ivory & wood jewelry box

This box was made in Byzantine Egypt in the 4th-6th centuries. The item is 34.3 x 35.6 x 30.5 cm and is made of ivory (bone), wood and wax. Two different carving types are used. The first type is figures in raised relief, which was used on the figures on the lid. The second is deep outlines filled with coloured wax, such as the dancers and fawns. The coloured dancers appear to be dancing with a tambour on the lid- I am happy to be corrected if anyone knows the correct terms for the instrument! The box is currently at the Walters Art Museum.

Dancers on clothing

This is an ornamental shoulder band, made in Byzantine Egypt, in the first half of the 7th century. It is a linen base with wool tapestry weaving. It is 5.45 cm high and 60.65 cm wide, using indigo and kermes dyes. Currently in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Sorry, this is the largest picture I could find. It is two naked dancers, woven in silk. Thought to have been made in the Ummayad or Abbasid period of the 8th century, it decorated a tunic. The dimensions are 15.5cm x 14cm, the fabric is a weft-faced plain weave with inner warps. The dancers are holding pomegranates and branches. From the AMICA Library.

Both of these textiles are from Egypt.

Constantine IX Monomachos’ crown


This is the crown of Constantine IX Monomachos. It is gold with cloisonné enamel. Made in the 11th century, it features Constantine with his second wife Zoe and her sister Theodora. They also feature two dancers on either sides of the women.

The crown can be found at the Hungarian National Museum, although the site is not search-able. The University of Puget Sound Art Dept has a picture of the crown that can be zoomed in on. There is a similar item in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Height: 10.6 cm, Width: 5 cm and Depth: 0.2 cm. Mid 11th century.
Bibliography
Kornbluth Photography.
The Monomachos Crown: Towards a Resolution by Timothy Dawson. Via Google Docs.
The Full Wikis: Crown Jewels.
Byzantine Art from The Pages of Dr. Rozmeri Basic.