You are here:Home/Research/ Support for Research/ Fellowships/ Fellowship Reports/ 2014–2015/ New Approaches to Late Byzantine Jewelry and Dress Accessories: Reevaluating the Chalcis Treasure

New Approaches to Late Byzantine Jewelry and Dress Accessories: Reevaluating the Chalcis Treasure

Nikos Kontogiannis, Greek Ministry of Culture, Fellow 2014–2015

My research focuses on the late medieval Chalcis Treasure, a group of around 650 objects currently divided between the Ashmolean and the British Museum. It was found in the 1870s within the medieval castle of Negroponte in Euboea, Greece, and includes gold- and silver-gilt pieces of jewelry, dress accessories, and tableware, reflecting the rich material culture of the Aegean during the late Byzantine period. During my stay at Dumbarton Oaks, I worked toward producing a monograph on this hoard. I had the chance to consult a wide range of sources, gather material, and produce drafts on the three themes of this book: the objects themselves (materials, ornaments, and excavated and museum artifacts), their owners (producers and users as documented through artistic, historic, and archival documentation), and finally, their collectors (individuals and museum institutions from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day). Apart from the excellent library, it was essential for me to use the resources of ICFA, which provided a hitherto-unknown wealth of comparative material, as well as to examine at first hand similar objects from the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. Finally, I would like to stress that the outcome of this project will largely be the result of constant interaction with the members of the Dumbarton Oaks community, who took an active interest in my work and contributed much-needed feedback on a wide range of topics, ranging from medieval mining practices and the provenance of precious metals to nineteenth-century collection practices and philanthropy.