Egypt or Syria
11th century AD
gold sheet, wire and granulation
2.8cm; 2.7cm (width)
These earrings are openwork box-constructed crescents, richly textured with granulation. On the front of each is a filigree bird surrounded by 12 granulated domes. Similar domes ornament the side wall; large grains are placed on top of the domes and in between them. Two rows of granulated loops run along the edge, with a further loop at the cusps; these probably secured strings of pearls. The back has a branching tree in rope-and-grain filigree, surrounded by figure-of-eight scrolls. Rings for the ear wires are attached to strips of sheet folded over the points of the crescents. The ear wire is hinged at one end and secured by a pin with a granulated pyramid pull.
M. Spink & J. Ogden, The Art of Adornment, Jewellery of the Islamic Lands, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVII, London 2013, cat.49, pp.142–3. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.86, p.86.