The Wyvern Collection: Byzantine and Sasanian Silver, Enamels and Works of Art


The definitive catalogue of one of the most important collections of Byzantine decorative art in private hands, which is not open to the public.


ISBN: 9780500252499 Category:

Marco Aimone


Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages are now understood as times of extraordinary skill and creativity in the decorative arts. In the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) artists and craftsmen transitioned from ‘Roman’ to ‘Byzantine’ art and inspired a move from naturalism to a more hieratic and symbolic style, drawing on the deep artistic links connecting the Mediterranean world and the East.

The many spectacular artefacts from this period in the Wyvern Collection are luxury objects, most commissioned by wealthy patrons or the Church, ranging in date from the fourth century to around 1300. Masterpieces of great significance for art history, including a 5th-century Artemis missorium, previously unpublished, and an 11th-century enamelled enkolpion from Constantinople are among the highlights of the collection. Other extraordinary objects – Late Roman chariot decorations, a stone funerary door from Syria and brooches brought across Europe by the families of Roman soldiers – complete this artistic panorama of the great Mediterranean and Persian civilizations, whose creative influence extended to the far west of the Islamic world.

The catalogue, by Byzantine metalwork expert Marco Aimone, is augmented by three essays from technical specialists: Jack Ogden (enamelling), Peter Northover (metallurgy) and Erica Cruikshank Dodd (hallmarks). Rika Gyselen also contributes readings of Persian inscriptions.

Additional information

Weight 2922 g
Dimensions 23.1 x 28.5 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 20 January 2021
Number of pages 552
Format Hardback
Dimensions 23.1 x 28.5 cm
Weight 2922 g
Marco Aimone is a scholar of Late Antique and Medieval archaeology. He has published extensively on the precious metalwork and epigraphy of the Migration Period. Aimone has been has been a senior advisory curator for the Wyvern Collection since 2015.