Byzantine (Coptic) Period

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Jewelry, The Ancient World


Earrings, flares, plugs, studs

Bronze earring with a circle filled with a smaller circle and cross in center formed by scrolls. A piece is missing from the outer circle. The design of these earrings seems to be influenced by contemporary metalwork designs, especially in relation to liturgical furnishings like polycandelabra.

In general, these earrings reflect the adoption of wearing objects of personal adornment with Christian iconograpghy (whether narrative images from Christian myth or symbols from Christian art and cult) by women during the early Byzantine period. As these earrings were aquired in Egypt, we see how people living in Egypt were aware of, and perhaps responsive to, changes in Byzantine dress in political, religious, and economic centers like Constantinople.

For similar earrings, see UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptology and Archaeology UCL no. 58228.


By 1909: purchased in Egypt by Joseph Lindon Smith; 1909: on loan to the MFA; 1911: purchased by the MFA through funds provided by Mary S. Ames.
(Accession date: August 3, 1911.)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Mary S. Ames