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Lot 956: Carolingian Rock Crystal Magnifier Pendant
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 9th century AD. A silver pendant with running filigree loops, suspension hoop, inset keeled crystal. 11 grams, 35mm (1 1/2"). Property of a London businessman, from his grandfather's collection formed after World War II; thence by descent 1972. Rock crystal has been popular as an object of decoration and for its mystical qualities since the Neolithic. During the Migration Period these continued to be of importance and are found in Anglo-Saxon graves and come in a variety of forms, such as unworked pebbles, plain and facetted beads, spindle whorls and crystal balls. The stone appears to have been popular at all levels of society; the burial of a Frankish princess in Cologne Cathedral had an octagonal cut spindle whorl bead, and a globular bead placed in a wooden box at her feet. It would seem that quartz was valued for its magical properties; large beads may have been used for scrying and other forms of divination. In Christianity rock crystal was associated with the Virgin Mary due to its purity. [No Reserve]
Condition Report: Fine condition, frame chipped.