They are often of one colour, usually blue, but some are of compound colors exquisitely blended, and a few have a serpentine decoration fused into the glass. Beads of amber, pearls, and glazed earthenware have also been found. Among other gold ornaments are sure round flat plates of skinny gold, normally about 2¼ inches in diameter, considerably just like the plates found at Mycenæ, in that they were evidently employed for stitching upon the dress. In the center of the plates are small holes as if for attachment. As regards “ring-money,” and comparable rings employed presumably as ornaments for the ears or fingers, nothing more need be said, as they often comply with the designs of those in use among the many Celts of Britain.
In the foregoing define of European jewellery to the end of the fifteenth century—which has served as an approximate date for the termination of the mediæval epoch—practically no reference has been made to Italy. One want only look at the final fashion of Italian painting, structure, and sculpture of the Quattrocento, to see how far apart the artwork of Italy stands from that of the remainder of Europe. Rings which have the appearance of being purely decorative have been worn throughout the Middle Ages in considerable numbers each by men and women; but at the same time it must ever be borne in thoughts that the stones set in them had most likely within the eyes of the possessors a worth quite impartial of their use as ornaments. The bezels, or on the shoulders, which are generally grooved or fluted, figures of the Virgin and Child, or of patron saints. They are nearly all of the same style of workmanship and date almost solely from the fifteenth century. Several examples are preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities at Edinburgh (p. 104), and others in the three great English ring collections.
Even in early occasions, when the excessive use of private decoration was thought-about a mark of effeminacy, they were famed for his or her jewels. On Etruscan sarcophagi the men have torques about their necks, whereas the ladies have typically torques, generally necklaces, lengthy earrings, and bracelets, and each sexes have many rings on their fingers. Crescent-shaped earrings are shaped boryana dies green company of pendent parts hung with double pearls. Dating from the seventeenth century are elaborate and delicate pendants within the shape of fully rigged ships enriched with painted enamel and hung with clusters of pearls. About the year 1772 fashionable men carried a watch in each fob-pocket, from which hung bunches of seals and chains.
It has been suggested that the straightforward penannular rings have been nose-ornaments, and when linked or strung collectively had been worn as necklaces; additionally that the extra ornamental rings were earrings. But it is quite unimaginable to discover out their actual use as personal ornaments. Corresponding to the ornaments found at Mycenæ which have been employed by the primitive Greeks for decorating their clothes are skinny plates of gold, termed bracteæ, pierced with small holes, which served the later Greeks for related function.
They had imitated Egypt and Assyria, in order that they started to mimic Greece as soon as they came into contact together with her. The Greeks in return made great use at first of this composite type, but subsequently shook off its influence and integrated it only after many modifications into their own developed art. The amphora—a type of ornament in goldsmith’s work which can be traced to Assyria—is one among many motives borrowed by the Phœnicians, and transmitted by them to Greece. Among those that have favoured me with permission to publish the treasures in their possession I should gratefully point out Lady Cook , Lady Ramsay, Lady Monckton, Mrs. Holman Hunt, Mrs. Percy Macquoid, the Marquess of Clanricarde, Viscount Falkland, and Lord Fitzhardinge; additionally Herr James Simon, of Berlin, and Lieut.-Col. G. B. Croft Lyons, who have presented me with images of their jewels. The names of many others, who’ve kindly lent me jewels or pictures, might be found, attached to the person objects, within the List of Illustrations.