HELLENIC & BYZANTINE JEWELRY
An unquenched thirst for exploration and knowledge, made Greeks into fearless sea-farers and traders across the Mediterranean, pouring wealth into their homeland, while propelling the growth of arts and crafts.
Jewelry dated around 2400BC from the Minoan civilization, which flourished on the island of Crete, speak of the opulence and high aesthetics of this splendid culture, as seen on the frescos of the Palace of Knossos.
Gold was used in abundance and techniques such as filigree and granulation were introduced in jewelry, with the use of brilliant gemstones from the Levant.
The conquests of Alexander the Great in Persia, Asia Minor and Egypt brought about a dynamic revival in aesthetics, motifs, forms & techniques.
Despite the sophistication achieved thus far, jewelry art reached its apogee during the Byzantine Empire, from the 4th century AD to the mid 1400s. The empire was blessed with ineffable wealth, inexhaustible gold and prosperity.
With a religious doctrine at its heart, Christian crosses and religious symbols were much favored and jewelry was worn as everyday adornment and status symbol, creating an unparalleled and uniquely lavish style.