The Fieschi Morgan Staurotheke. Byzantine, Made in Constantinople (?). Gilded silver, gold, enamel worked in cloisonné, and niello; overall (with lid) 1 1/16 x 4 1/16 x 2 13/16 in.; early 9th century. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.715a, b)
· BY ·

Tiny Treasures

Select masterpieces from The Met collection prove that magnificence doesn’t always require a grand scale

Visitors to The Met are accustomed to stepping back and looking up—at the Sardis column, the Temple of Dendur, Saint-Gaudens’s Diana, the Gubbio Studiolo, and other artworks created on a monumental scale. Yet some of the most beautiful things in The Met collection sometimes come in the smallest packages. In case you missed them (and given their size, that’s not too hard), we’ve spotlighted a few of the tiniest treasures from around the galleries.

Turquoise Likeness

Alexander the Great (?). Probably Italian. Turquoise, enamel, gold; 1 x 1 1/16 in. overall; ring: mid-16th century; cameo: early Hellenistic 4th century B.C. Rogers Fund, 1910 (10.110.2)

 

Minuscule Jackal on Eternal Watch

Amulet of Anubis on his Shrine. Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, late Dynasty 12–early Dynasty 13. Electrum, H. 11/16 × W. 9/16 in., ca. 1850–1775 B.C. Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1904 (04.18.9)

 

Three Times the Charm

Figurine: Three Males. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Loango Region, Kongo peoples. Ivory, H. 3 1/4 x W. 1 3/8 x D. 15/16 in., 18th–20th century. The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1964 (1978.412.348)

 

Sparkling Scene

Pendant with Charity and Her Children. Probably German, Augsburg. Gold, partly enameled and set with diamonds, rubies, and an emerald and with pendant pearls; height: 5 1/16 in.; late 16th–early 17th century. The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982 (1982.60.375)

 

Golden Steed

Plaque in the Shape of a Grazing Kulan. Northwest China, Xiongnu culture. Gold, H. 1 3/8 in. x W. 1 11/16 in., 2nd–1st century B.C. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw, 2002 (2002.201.118)

 

Small Stage, Poignant Drama

Pendant. Probably Mexican. Crystal, enamel, gold, pearls, boxwood; 1 3/8 x 1 in.; 16th century. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.886)

 

Serpentine Forms

Ring with snake’s head and tail twisted to form bezel. Roman Period, from Egypt. Gold, 13/16 in. diameter, A.D. 1st century. Rogers Fund, 1924 (24.2.9)

 

And at The Met Store, Pretty Little Things

Clockwise from top left: Byzantine Gold Cross Pendant, $195; Wing Pendant Necklace, $395; Egyptian Star Openwork Pendant Necklace, $195; Egyptian Snake Charm Bracelet, $35

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Museum reserves the right to delete comments that it deems inappropriate for any reason. Comments are moderated and publication times may vary.

Copyright © 2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved. 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028.
Terms & Conditions · Privacy