SHOWCASE 1. PIECES OF JEWELLERY OF THE XITH - XIVTH CENTURIESClose
One of the most remarkable sections of the exposition is the one comprising ancient monuments of the art of jewellery making, related to the earliest period of the Moscow history. About 200 rarely seen exhibits from the showcase 2 and 3 have been derived from several buried treasures in the result of archeological excavations and scientific researches in the Moscow Kremlin territory.
The exposed collection includes precious pieces of jewellery, accessories, cult objects and domestic utensils of the Old Russian and pre-Mongolian period. The exhibits, discovered in 1988 and 1991 within two treasure-troves, were hidden in the ground in winter 1238, when Moscow was being besieged and ravaged by the hordes of Batu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan.
Such masterpieces reveal an exquisite workmanship, high level of metal processing and various techniques and styles of the art of jewellery making, which have been developed and mastered since earliest times.
The section presents agraffes — beads, finished with openwork embossment and granulation, which were mounted on a metal plate by restorers, hexactinal pendants (kolt medallions) decorated with small granules-spheres fused to a base piece, delicate adornments for headpieces, riasny (pair of pendants), bracelets-vambraces and etc.
Articles worthy of particular note are the Scandinavian pendants, crafted in the form of a bearded head of a man, which are characteristic of the artistic tradition of the Eastern part of Europe in ancient times, and a small treasure, consisting of two Byzantine crosses made from the Badakhshan lazurite and rose-tinted marble with gold inlay on the edges. Such relics were crafted in the Byzantine Empire and later on delivered as precious gifts or goods to different countries and to Rus as well.