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Chain Closure with Christ and the Virgin

second half of the 10th century - 11th century
4.6 cm (1 13/16 in.)
silver, gilding and niello

Not on view


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Additional Image Mary

A circular clasp had a hinged ring on each side; however, one ring is now missing. On the obverse, an engraved bust of Christ is on the gilded background. Christ holds a book in his left hand and blesses with the right one. The traditional IC XC is inscribed on both sides of Christ's cruciform halo. The hair, beard, and cloak are nielloed, and the face is silver. On the reverse is engraved an image of the Virgin with her hands raised in front of her chest in prayer. Her name is also inscribed on both sides of her head. Her face and hands are silver, but the garment is nielloed and has some gilding. Pearls strung on a wire originally encircled the clasp.

Handbook of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Harvard University (Washington, DC, 1967), no. 213.

M. Ross, Jewelry, Enamels, and Art of the Migration Period, Catalogue of the Byzantine and Early Mediaeval Antiquities in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Vol. II, 2nd ed., with an Addendum by Susan A. Boyd and Stephen R. Zwirn (Washington, DC, 2005), add. no. 198, pl. CXXX.

Acquisition History
Acquired from G. Zacos, 1965.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Byzantine Collection, Washington, D.C.