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Title: Pair of Earrings with Pendant Chains
Materials: 11th century AD
Dimensions: 10.7cm; 10.8 cm (height, overall)
Accession Number: JLY 752
These lunate earrings are not box constructed. The openwork filigree consists of a semicircular panel with interlocking hexagons of folded double wires, reinforced with small sheet discs, within a figure-of-eight border round the outer curve and figures-of-eight laid side-by-side across the top. Edging is in paired ropes, and there is a crenellated band in plain wire across the top. The ear wire is secured with a split-pin set on a reflexive-spiral terminal at one end, and a spherical bead of openwork rope filigree decorates the join at the other. Each earring has five loop-in-loop chains that hang from small rings, with pod- and drop-shaped pendants of sheet, the former stamped and the latter decorated with rope. If these pendants are original, they indicate that the loops round the side wall on earrings could be used for ornaments other than strings of pearls.
This type of earring has a long history, but the reflexive-spiral terminal confirms the Iranian origin.
M. Spink and J. Ogden, The Art of Adornment. Jewellery of the Islamic World, Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVII, Part One, London 2013, cat.99, p.191.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.73, pp.82–3.