Gold bracelet of eight links

Historical period(s)
Abbasid period, 12th century
H x W: 19.7 x 3 cm (7 3/4 x 1 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork


Abbasid period (750 - 1258), Iran, kufic script, naskh script
Provenance research underway.

This bracelet's lightweight construction continues a characteristic of earlier Byzantine and Sasanian traditions. Each of the eight links consists of a pyramidal hollow "box," shaped from sheet gold and originally inset with a precious stone. On the sloping sides, inscriptions on a niello ground (blackened with a lead-silver sulfide mixture) bestow good wishes on the owner. Finely drawn sphinxes and griffins on the back of each link symbolize good fortune and well being.

Published References
  • Eleni Sakes. Ancient Jewelry Charms, Exquisite Freer Gallery Group. Washington, January 2, 1955. section B, p. 9.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 54, p. 17.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. cat. 8, pp. 77-82.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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