Byzantine Gold Medallion with the Bust of an Empress and Garnets

Culture: Byzantine
Period: 7th-8th century A.D.
Material: Gold, garnets
Dimensions: 6.3 cm high
Price: 3 600 Euro
Ref: 3532
Provenance: From the estate of the French art dealer Evrard de Rouvre (1923-1979). Thence with his daughter Isabelle and her husband Francois van den Broeck. Since then in the family estate.
Condition: A small corrosion hole on the medallion at the bottom right. Left of the medallion garnets are missing, but this does not have an effect on the overall impression of the pendant.
Description: Important Byzantine gold pendant consisting of a round medallion, gold beads of different forms and sizes and inlayed garnets. The medallion with a portrait, embossed on a gold sheet, of an important woman, possibly an empress. The pleats of her veil, the garment and the necklace are accentuated with diligently inlayed garnets. On her forehead a large inlayed garnet. Left and right of the bust two more inlayed garnets. The medallion hangs on an elongated gold spiral, which is framed on both sides by garnet rings. Adjacent gold beads of different forms and sizes, throughout adorned with garnets. The important pendant is on a leather mount from where it can easliy be removed and be set in a modern necklace.