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Ancient Byzantine Medieval Golden-Hued Bronze Ring with Falcon Motif 1100-1300AD For Sale


Ancient Byzantine Medieval Golden-Hued Bronze Ring with Falcon Motif 1100-1300AD

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Ancient Byzantine Medieval Golden-Hued Bronze Ring with Falcon Motif 1100-1300AD:
$26

About The Byzantine Jewelry

Byzantine jewelry was a full continuation of the Roman traditions which were kept alive behind the high walls of the new capital, Constantinople. The Roman techniques and styles continued to form the foundation of Byzantine goldsmith's skills who weren't complete copycats; some innovations such as the use of Christian iconography and further specialization of new and old techniques occurred. Production in the old jewelry centers of Alexandria and Antioch gave way to an increased production in Constantinople. Byzantine jewelry had a huge influence on the manufacturing of personal decoration in the rest of the medieval world. The Carolingian (early 742 AD) and the later Ottonian courts (start 962 AD) were linked to the Byzantine Empire and adopted their fashion resulting in the northern European Romanesque jewelry style.

In the Byzantine Empire jewelry played an important role. It acted as a way to express ones status and as a diplomatic tool. In 529 AD, Emperor Justinian took up laws regulating the wearing and usage of jewelry in a new set of laws, later to be called the Justinian Code. He explicitly writes that sapphires, emeralds and pearls are reserved for the emperor's use but every free man is entitled to wear a gold ring. This may tell us something about the widespread use and great popularity of jewelry. One could easily argue that there hadn't been a need for such a law if jewelry had been a purely aristocratic phenomenon.

The Byzantine Empire was wealthy. It had gold mines within its borders and its geographical position was perfect for trade between the East and West. Successful traders, military officers and high officials in the empire's administration would all have been in the position to afford luxurious jewelry. In an attempt to keep jewelry exclusive Justinian ruled that only he got to decide who wore the finest jewels by presenting his favorite 'servants' with presents from the imperial workshops. It is important to note that the emperor's monopoly didn't mean that only a few high ranked people wore jewelry, on the contrary, all other precious stones and gold in general were allowed to be worn. Items that are expected to be made in the imperial workshops have been found throughout the empire. These items could have been diplomatic gifts to local rulers or have been carried there on the bodies of military leaders and diplomats of the empire itself.

Just like in Roman times gemstones were extremely popular and the display of gems became more important than the surrounding gold work. Precious stones came mainly from the East. Flourishing trading contacts with India and Persia brought vast amounts of garnets, , corundum and pearls to Constantinople. Gold was being mined within the empire's borders in modern day Greece, the Balkans and in Turkey, where silver was found with gold. The people of the Byzantine Empire liked their jewelry colorful. In addition to gemstones the desired polychrome effect was achieved by the use of enamel.

About This Ring

This very symbolic ancient medieval bronze ring is of excellent condition with very well-preserved details of a carved stylized head (with three dots) and bust and a falcon on top, framed by a border. It has retained its original golden-hued bronze, is incredibly smooth and symmetrical all around and is fully intact and solid. This ring would have been made for, and given as a gift to a lover in hopes to capture her heart.

In medieval times, falcon hawking was not just a leisure pastime. It was a status symbol and the height of "conspicuous consumption." The imagery and language of the hunt permeated art, poetry, language, and even Shakespeare's plays.

However in other cases, the art carried hidden meaning, for the complex dance of the falcon and the quarry was an oft-used symbol of love. Both men and women participated in the sport, though the most prized hunting falcons were female, not male. In an image, the bird could stand for the woman, the man, or love in the abstract.

This piece is a reminder that even the most well-trained bird is still a wild thing, no more "owned" by the hunter than a lover. Each time the bird returns to the falconer's fist is a choice, as is each return of a faithful lover. No amount of training or force can capture a wild heart.


Additional Information

Circa: 1100-1300 AD

Inner Diameter: 19 mm

Top to Bottom: 21 mm

US Ring size - 9

Type of material/s used – Bronze

Condition – Very fine

Region of ancient origin – Jerusalem, Israel

Terms & Conditions:

Upon offerding, winning a offer and purchasing an item, Buyers agree to the following:

All images are original have not been altered and do not convey a false or misleading impression.

Non-paying buyers will be reported to after 3 days in order to recover money lost on listing fees. No Sales Tax/VAT will be charged by us.

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