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Home > Auctions > 9th September 2015 > Byzantine Repoussé Pendant of an Empress

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LOT 0516

Sold for (Inc. bp): £5,456

1 1/4" (3.84 grams, 32mm).

A discoid gold plaque with repoussé facing bust of an empress with granule detail enhancing the hair, necklace and folded mantle; granule clusters to the field, two cabochon garnets flanking the bust; ribbed tubular suspension loop with granule collars and central piriform cabochon garnet.

Property of a Mayfair gentleman. Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate.

The portraits of the Byzantine empress reflected that of her husband the Emperor where they are lavishly decorated with rich clothes and gold crowns studded with enamels and pearls that had a quasi-ecclesiastical look to them. Initially their every day dress was more conservative and continued earlier forms of Roman dress. The main garments of this costume were the dalmatic tunic and mantle.Then later, as with the emperor, their main type of everyday dress was the chlamys and divetesion. Such elements as an individual garment’s fabric, colour, decoration,and the addition of patches or borders distinguished the emperor and empress from other court members. They were also identified by special accessories such as their crowns, pendalia, fibula, and scepters. The image that the empress wished to promote was one of awe, representing the power of the Virgin Mary on Earth.