Byzantine Gilt Silver Bracelet, 9th - Early 13th Century AD
An incredible bracelet made of twisted silver wire and terminating in two hammered flat silver trapezoids that flow from the wire. These are studded with small silver beads and braid.
During the 7th to 9th centuries, the Byzantine Empire was in a state of economic and social crisis, repeatedly rocked by invasions, plagues, famines, and other disasters - a time period often called “The Dark Ages”. Emerging from that period, it seems that the people of the Byzantine Empire wished to flaunt their wealth and embellish themselves with beautiful things. For example, in excavations of Byzantine graves from this period at Thessaloniki, jewelry like this bracelet are the exclusive grave items found with both men and women - but they are found in great quantities. This would have been a treasured item for a person living in this optimistic, dynamic time.