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Articles of Faith

As Christmas, Hanukkah, and other midwinter observances approach, we spotlight refined pieces imbued with special meaning for people of faith

This holiday, give your most meaningful gift yet with one of our refined pieces inspired by religious art in The Met collection.

Byzantine Dreams

Our timeless cross pendant is adapted from a jeweled gold cross in The Met collection. Though the original cross is modern, it features a 6th-century Byzantine ring for attachment and is decorated with exceedingly fine granulation in quadrangular sections. Luxurious jewelry produced in the early Byzantine era often advertised one’s status; it was thought to ward off evil and bring good fortune through the protective properties of precious stones and Christian imagery.

Left: Byzantine Gold Cross Pendant, $210. Right: Pendant in the form of a Latin Cross. Gold, emeralds; late 19th–20th century (Byzantine style). Anonymous Gift, 1991 (1991.415)

 

A Meaningful Motif

A new Met Store design, this fine 14K yellow gold necklace is an instant heirloom—ready to be worn with pride and passed down for generations. An appealing gift idea for a graduate or newlywed, it is a timeless symbol of faith.

The beautiful pendant recalls a star seen on an early 9th-century wooden panel in The Met collection. The original, from Iraq, features motifs typical of early Islamic woodcarving.

The prominent six‑pointed star was a common decorative feature in Islamic art of all periods, as well as in Roman art. The Star of David was first embraced as a Jewish symbol in the 17th century and continues this legacy today.

Left: Star of David Pendant Necklace, $210. Right: Panel. From Iraq, probably Baghdad. Wood (teak); H. 29 1/2 in., W. 33 1/2 in., D. 1 in.; early 9th century. Rogers Fund, 1933 (33.41.1a–e)

 

Carefully Carved

The Egyptian Coptic Church was officially established in A.D. 538 and remains active today. Made between 500 and 700 A.D., a beautiful Coptic cross in The Met collection inspired our statement-making rock crystal necklace. The original cross is thought to have been found in Egypt near a Christian church that is no longer standing. Rock crystal was a favored material for prized religious items, such as The Met’s rare and outstanding Coptic example.

Left: Coptic Cross Earrings, Rock Crystal, $95, and Pendant Necklace, $185. Right: Necklace and pendant cross. Coptic, made in Medinet Habu (near Thebes), Byzantine Egypt. Rock crystal, silver mount; 500–700. Rogers Fund, 1908 (08.202.27a, b)

 

Spelling Devotion

Alpha and Omega, the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, are used in this 14K gold pendant to recall the words of Christ: “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Apocalypse of St. John 22:13).

Alpha Omega Pendant Necklace, $598

 

Discover more jewelry and art-inspired gift ideas at store.metmuseum.org.

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