The topic I chose to compare was, Islamic Jewelry and Byzantine Jewelry. Through my research I found two rings, one from each culture. These rings are very similar in construction and design. If you look at both of my primary sources, these rings are very similar. The Byzantine ring is gold, with a stone engraved with a bust of a person. The Islamic source that I found is also gold, embedded with a blue gemstone. Throughout my research I have learned that these two cultures share many similarities in their jewelry, such as both cultures used the same materials, men, children, and women all wore jewelry, and each culture valued complex detail and high quality.
The primary source I chose for the Byzantine Empire is a ring from the 5th century, made out of gold with a bust engraved in the ring. According to Jeffrey Spier, this ring was found at Reggio Emilia in 1957. Among this ring, there was also large amount of other types of jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, and rings found, of the highest quality. This load of jewelry found belongs to an Eastern Germanic official. This ring would be considered an early Byzantine style of ring, and might have ties with Constantinople, causing great interest. “The shape is characterized by its ribbed, ‘calyx’-shaped bezel set with a gem […]” says Spier. This ring has an octangular shaped band or hoop. There is a large amount of similar rings that are known. Along in Reggio Emilia, two rings very similar to this primary source were also found; one with an unengraved nicolo, and the other with a garnet. This ring would be referred to as high quality due to the craftsmanship and neatness of the construction of this ring.
My Islamic Primary source that I chose was also a ring. The cutter of this piece preferred color and weight, over symmetry of the stone. With this being said, the piece was made either by a less talented artist, or was made in a later phase in the development of this type of ring. According to Marilyn Jenkins and Manuel Keene, “The asymmetry of the stone has posed a problem that the goldsmith has overcome by offsetting the bezel on the shank to better center he luminous blue mass of the stone.” This ring would not be considered high quality compared to my other primary source, due to the lack of neatness and care that went into manufacturing this ring.
1- Byzantine Jewelry points
a. Used to express one’s status
b. Byzantines loved colorful jewelry/ stones
2- Islamic Jewelry Points
a. Used the art of Filigree
b. Doesn't date before 15th Century
3- Points of Comparison and Thesis
a. Used similar materials like pearls, gold, silver, and precious stones.
b. Men, women, and children wore jewelry.
c. Jewelry was used for beauty, and to show wealth.
d. Crescent shaped pendants were popular in both cultures.
e. Rings were very popular, with gemstones, and inscribed metal.
f. Each culture valued high quality and complex detail.
4. Concluding Sentence
a. Throughout my research, I have learned that Byzantine Jewelry is very similar in many areas to Islamic Jewelry, such as they used the same materials, men, children, and women all wore jewelry, and that each culture valued complex detail and high quality.
. N.p.. Web. 18 Dec 2013. <http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Byzantine_Jewelry>.
Jeffrey Spier, . <www.google.com/url?q=http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/2%20Spier-opt-sec.pdf&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFa6fPPGH48FtNQb7I3wrvImf9z4Q>.
Marilyn Jenkins, Manuel Keene. <http://books.google.com/books?id=5c9NoOBf2Q4C&pg=PA80&lpg=PA80&dq=467 AD islamic jewelry&source=bl&ots=KvlvfwBskz&sig=H_yZes1Wo_clYW4dpKVs7ucffCk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xCSqUoKlHczIkAez_oCgDw&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA
Betsy Williams, . N.p.. Web. 18 Dec 2013. <http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2012/byzantium-and-islam/blog/topical-essays/posts/jewelry>.