Gold and enamel earrings
Taranto, Strada S. Lucia | 11th century A.D.
Pair of gold earrings, found inside a tomb located in the “Montedoro area facing the Military District”, consisting of a smooth ring with eyelet clasp and hook, and a triangular truncated-pyramid pendant adorned with red, blue and white cloisonné enamels. The decorations consist of panels framed by horizontal dashes located along the edges and surmounted by small spirals surrounded by a semicircle; the inner backgrounds differ in the two specimens: the first has small four-petal flowers, the second has three motifs of spirals facing each other. Form, construction technique, decorative motifs and compositional schemes suggest that the workshops that produced these refined objects were located in the East, probably in the Constantinople area.
This artistic enamel decoration technique, which can be carried out on metal objects (gold, silver or copper), consists in the creation of closed compartments (cloisons) through thin strips fixed to a support according to a pattern onto which a glass paste of usually different colours is applied. The article is then baked in small ovens, at controlled temperatures, that vary according to the different melting points of the enamels; once the glazing has taken place the surfaces are polished and smoothed.