Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

Sir John Evans's Collections of Artefacts


Byzantine Earrings

Country of Origin: Germany

Description: Gold earrings composed of a filigree-decorated crescent from which is suspended a pair of box-set gems of opaque green glass and pendant amethysts, dating to the sixth century.

Dimensions: 9.5cm length

Object Period: Byzantine

Provenance: Mainz, Germany

Museum Accession No.: AN1909.822

Aquisition History: Previously part of the Forman collection Acquired by Sir John Evans and presented to the Ashmolean by Sir Arthur Evans in 1909.

Other Information: Earrings of this type are worn by the empress Theodora and women in her entourage in a wall-mosaic in the church of S. Vitale at Ravenna. Gem inlaid jewellery was particularly popular in late antiquity. Amethysts were imported from Sri Lanka, while green glass was used here in imitation of emeralds.