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Collecting jewelry from the classical world, be it Greek, Etruscan, or Roman, started as early as the eighteenth century, which saw discoveries of splendid Greek jewelry and of Scythian and Sarmatian goldwork in Russia, the excavation of Etruscan tombs, and the unearthing of Roman jewelry in Pompeii and Herculaneum. All of these developments inspired monarchs such as Peter the Great of Russia, aristocratic families including the Borgia and Farnese, and diplomats like Sir William Hamilton, the British ambassador to Naples, to make ancient goldwork part of their art collections. Public institutions such as the British Museum, London, and the Museé du Louvre, Paris, soon followed. The Antiquarium in Berlin purchased ancient jewelry for the first time in 1839, and in the mid-nineteenth century, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acquired the collection of L. di Cesnola. While collecting continued, and was certainly inspired by the discovery of the treasures of Troy and Mycenae, it was no longer the preserve of the aristocracy. Major collections—some now intact in museums, material from others occasionally turning up on the art market—were formed by dedicated individuals including L. di Cesnola and B. Y. Berry in the United States ; Sir A. Franks and R. Harari in England ; M. de Clercq and E. Guilhou in France ; F. L. von Gans, B. Schiller, and M. Rosenberg in Germany ; Antony Benaki and H. Stathatos in Greece ; and A. Moretti in Switzerland.

The twentieth century saw a number of important exhibitions of ancient jewelry, and the first major one was staged in Berlin as early as 1932. This was followed in 1965 by Jewelry from the Age of Alexander, shown in Boston, Brooklyn, and Richmond ; Il’oro di Taranto, the splendid finds from the Greek cities in southern Italy, shown in Milan and various other European venues in 1984 ; and in 1993 by a display of Roman jewelry in Cologne. Between 1991 and 1992, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco presented The Gold of Greece, an exhibition of jewelry and ornaments from the Benaki Museum, Athens. Another particular highlight was the exhibition Greek Gold : Jewelry of the Classical World, which was on view during 1994 and 1995 at the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum, bringing together the finest Greek jewelry of the fifth and fourth centuries B. C. from these two institutions and from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Also to be mentioned is the 1996 exhibition of ancient gold jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art, which included the largest amount of fine Etruscan goldwork in the United States.

Scholarly research followed, and catalogues started to be published in the late nineteenth century. Most of these early publications are still worth reading ; F. H. Marshall’s catalogue of the ancient jewelry in the British Museum is still as valid today as it was in 1911, when it was first published.

In antiquity, gold jewelry was made and worn in order to display wealth and taste, thereby conveying the rank and status of the wearer. For the modern viewer, the delicate, intricate nature of Greek, Hellenistic, Etruscan, and Roman goldwork conveys an immediate impression of beauty and skill, of luxury and amazing workmanship.

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION


SPIRAL

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Eastern Greek, 7th–6th century B.C. Gold L. 4.5 cm, W. 2.5 cm

Here, a thick, solid gold wire, which is beaded and ribbed on the outside and plain on the inside, revolves two full turns. The ends of the spiral are splayed out, and each one supports an identical decorative finial that is composed of a base with beaded edging similar to that on the spiral ; a wall formed of horizontally ribbed, domed elements with granules in the central elements, and a vertically ribbed, domed cover that also displays granulation in the center.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For related spiral earrings from Camirus and Ephesos in the British Museum, London, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), nos. 1173–74, 948. The finials of this spiral compare with the head of a pin from the Artemision in Ephesos, suggesting an eastern Greek origin in the sixth century B.C. For the spiral in the Berry Collection, see W. Rudolph, A Golden Legacy : Ancient Jewelry from the Burton Y. Berry Collection at the Indiana University Art Museum (1995), p. 65f., no. 10.B.1–2. For the pins from Ephesos, see Marshall, nos. 959f. For representations on coins, see B. Deppert-Lippitz, Griechischer Goldschmuck (1985), p. 150, figs. 99f, 103.

SPIRAL

Gold ornaments in a spiral shape are well known throughout the history of Greek jewelry, appearing with either a strictly abstract decoration, as in this early example, or fitted with animal (and even female) heads. They are often interpreted as hair ornaments, as they usually do not have a device to fasten them to the earlobe. Representations on coins, however, prove that they were ear ornaments. There is a small, gold spiral in the Burton Y. Berry Collection, Indiana University, which was part of an eastern Greek group of jewels dated to between the seventh and sixth century B.C. That piece preserves the suspension device, which consisted of a gold strip that wound around the spiral, forming a hook that suspended it horizontally from the ear.


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EAR STUD Etruscan, 6th century B.C. Gold D. 4.3 cm

In this piece, the lavish decoration of a large disk of gold sheet is carefully organized into three concentric registers separated by circles of beaded wire. In the center is a large rosette formed from concave strips of gold sheet and encircled by a broad border of plain gold sheet and beading. This is encircled by a section that displays a series of small rosettes with alternating plain and densely granulated spheres. The outermost border features similar rosettes alternating with lotus flowers. A hollow tube corresponding with a second, narrower one allowed the ornament to be attached to the earlobe.

Etruscan goldsmiths did not invent the decorative technique of creating ornaments by applying tiny gold granules to a gold base. It had been known much earlier, but never before or after was granulation used with such technical skill and imagination as it was in Etruria between the seventh and fourth century B.C. There, goldsmiths refined the technique and employed it in various ways, from carefully aligned granules to the “fine dust” granulation, usually called pulviscolo, which used granules that were too small to form regular patterns but perfect for giving a distinct texture to a surface.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For comparisons, see C. Alexander, Greek and Etruscan Jewelry, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1940), fig. 21 ; see also M. Cristofani and M. Martelli, L’oro degli etruschi (1983), no. 152 ; A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall (1970), pls. 1–2 ; F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), no. 1419 ; G. Nestler and E. Formigli, Granulazione etrusca : un’antica tecnica orafa (1994), pp. 18 ; 22, fig. 11 ; 28, fig. 19 ; M. Scarpignato, Oreficerie etrusche archaice, Museo Gregoriano Etrusco (1985), no. 47 ; and B. Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (1996), nos. 14, 16.

EAR STUD

This ornament represents a small group of particularly impressive Etruscan gold disks. Actual finds and pictorial representations indicate that these were ear studs. The large disk format allowed artists to display beautiful patterns and embellishments rendered in various techniques ; of which granulation is no doubt the most spectacular.


BEADS OF A NECKLACE

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Etruscan, late 6th-5th century Gold L. 24.1 cm

Granulation—the welding of tiny gold spheres to a surface of the same metal according to a design established in advance—already had a long history before Etruscan goldsmiths developed it into a particularly sophisticated means of artistic expression. Its excellent craftsmanship makes this necklace a perfect example of the finest Etruscan goldwork. The sophisticated use of coiled wire to construct the disks and the aesthetic contrast between the plain and textured beads are likewise characteristic of the taste of Archaic Etruscan goldsmiths. An exact parallel to this necklace, once the property of Queen Hortense, stepdaughter of the French emperor Napoleon, is in the Antikensammlung, Berlin. Other closely related examples are in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the British Museum, London.

PUBLISHED O. Von Falke, Sammlung Marc Rosenberg (1929), no. 64, pl. 3. BIBLIOGRAPHY For a similar necklace in the Antikensammlung Munich, see Von Falke, fig. 35. See also G. Platz-Horster, Antiker Goldschmuck, Antikensammlung Berlin (2001), pp. 38ff., no. 22 ; A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. I (1970), p. 87, pl. 66, 2–4 ; M. Cristofani and M. Martelli, L’oro degli etruschi (1983), pp. 293f., fig. 154 ; G. Nestler and E. Formigli, Granulazione etrusca (1994) ; and I. Jucker, Italy of the Etruscans (1991), no. 274.

BEADS OF A NECKLACE

While all eighteen of these spherical beads are made of sheet gold, half are densely granulated with an ornamental, floral design, and the other half are plain. Set in between these beads, and alternating with them, are seventeen spacers, each formed of two slightly concave disks edged by a circlet of coiled wire.


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GOLD NECKLACE WITH AMBER PENDANTS

This necklace is composed of seven large, rigid pendants alternating with eight lentil-shaped spacer beads. Each pendant is constructed of four different parts : a short tube with thickened edges, through which a string was threaded and decorated with fine, beaded circlets ; a similarly decorated neck ; a gold cap decorated with radiating tongues ; and an elongated, drop-shaped amber bead. The radiating filigree is repeated on both sides of the lentilshaped spacer beads. The necklace repeats a composition that was already well established in the seventh century B.C. and quite common from the late sixth century onward. Structure and ornamentation differ, but the spacer-bead alternating with a rigid pendant is always identical. The earliest typologically related necklaces made in amber and silver have been discovered in Etruscan contexts in central Italy. The later sixth century B.C. is well documented through finds from Sindos in Thessaly and from a Lydian tumulus in western Anatolia. Examples from Bulgarian tumuli date to the early fifth century B.C. Closely related are the lentil-shaped spacers of a necklace in the Archaeological Museum, Plovdiv, dated to the early fifth century B.C. The drop-shaped amber pendants link this piece to a necklace from the Lydian Treasure, which features rigid, cup-shaped tops that are set with colored stones. Throughout antiquity, amber, a fossilized resin of coniferous trees, was very much appreciated ; as a natural material, however, it is prone to decay and rarely survives. In ancient times, the main source was the Baltic coast, from where various trade roads brought it to the Mediterranean. Indeed, Mycenaeans imported amber beads from as early as the Geometric and Oriental periods. Greek craftsmen used amber, as did the Etruscans, until around 500 B.C., when the supply stopped and the material also went out of fashion.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the related silver and amber necklace in the British Museum, London, see, D. E. Strong, Catalogue of the Carved Amber in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, The British Museum (1966), no. 19 ; see also nos. 21–23. For the necklace from the Lydian Treasure, see I. Özgen and J. Öztürk, The Lydian Treasure (1966), no. 108. For the necklace in the Archaeological Museum, Plovdiv, see I. Marazov, Ancient Gold : The Wealth of the Thracians (1998), no. 160.

GOLD NECKLACE WITH AMBER PENDANTS

East Greek, 6th–5th century B.C. Gold and amber L. 14.1 cm


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GROUP OF APPLIQUÉS PENDANTS AND A PALMETTE

This group, consisting of six griffin-head appliqués, four lion-head appliqués, one palmette-shaped pendant, nine amphora pendants, and five rosette shaped spacers, is in superb condition. All of the distinct elements are remarkably well preserved, with hardly any damage present. The very fine griffin and lion-head appliqués, which are formed from sheet gold, would have once embellished a piece of clothing. All ten of these animals have raised limbs and are open-mouthed, with their tongues visible. Each appliqué is affixed to a rosette bordered with gold wire and four puncture holes allowed it to be sewn onto clothing. The six griffin heads are actually a composite of an eagle and a griffin, with griffin ears that were made separately and soldered into place. The four lion heads are covered in short, incised lines to depict the fur of the mane and the hide. The palmette-shaped pendant is simple in form and in particularly excellent condition. It is fashioned from a thin piece of sheet gold and, like the other elements of this group, has filigree decoration. The spiral-beaded wire used to outline the design displays two seven-petal palmettes facing in the same direction. This piece originally would have been used as a terminal for a necklace or earring. The amphora pendants are very fine, with applied and filigreed decoration. All nine are surmounted by a rosette with three rings of petals. The pendants are separated by rosette shaped spacers with four pointed sepals sandwiched between two rings of petals. The bodies of the amphorae display palmettes and lotus-flower motifs applied in sheet gold. All of the wire used for the filigree is beaded, a detail

that further establishes these pieces as extraordinary. They truly represent the finest goldwork created during the greatest period for Greek jewelry. This stunning set resembles Classical Greek jewelry ; however, judging from their style and execution, all elements may have been fabricated in the north of Greece, with Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine being all possible places of origin. All of these areas fell under the Thracian sphere of influence. It is therefore not surprising that some similar jewelry has been recovered from Thrace, Macedonia, and other regions.

BIBLIOGRAPHY D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold : Jewelry of the Classical World (1994), p. 78, no. 33. For Thrace and Thracian Jewelry, see I. Marazov, ed., Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians (1998).

GROUP OF APPLIQUÉS PENDANTS AND A PALMETTE

Greek, 5th–4th century B.C. Gold H. 2.5 cm (appliqués) L. 2.7 cm (pendants) L. 2.6 cm (palmette)


ENGRAVED RING

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Graeco-Thracian, late 5th–early 4th century B.C. Gold D. 3.1 cm

The ring’s shape suggests a date from the fifth to early fourth century B.C. While the engraving reveals the hand of a Greek artist, the subject refers to Thracian society and to the Danube cultures, in which depictions of horsemen were quite popular. The scene commemorates the moment following a king’s investiture : the Great Mother Goddess has just given the hero a rhyton, the symbol of his kingship, which he proudly presents to the viewer. A similar subject is engraved into the bezel of a gold ring from Brezovo, Bulgaria, which depicts the goddess presenting a rhyton to a ruler ; another example from Glozhene, in Bulgaria’s Lovech district, shows a horseman triumphantly holding a rhyton.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the related finger rings from Bulgaria, see I. Marazov, Ancient Gold : The Wealth of the Thracians (1998), figs. 110, 112.

ENGRAVED RING

The pointed oval bezel of this finger ring features an engraved representation of a bearded horseman riding to the left. He wears an impressive Corinthian helmet and a chlamys that is thrown over his shoulder, flying in the wind behind him. In his raised right hand, he holds a rhyton ; with his left, the reins of a horse that stands quietly with one leg uplifted.


RING WITH ENGRAVED HERACLES

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The bezel of this perfectly well preserved solid gold ring is engraved with the figure of a standing Heracles. In a relaxed, classical pose, he turns his beautifully designed head to the left ; he is shown in profile, the body in a nearly full frontal view. The hero’s outstretched right leg, with the foot pointing to the left, rests firmly on the ground line, while his left leg is slightly bent. He reaches his right arm forward and rests his lowered left arm on his club. The artist combined fine workmanship with excellent artistic quality. The beautiful, beardless head and muscular body capture the juvenile appearance of Heracles.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For more on the shape of the ring, see J. Boardman, Greek Gems and Finger Rings, Early Bronze Age to Late Classical (1972). For a similar finger ring in Berlin, see A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), pl. 55, 1–3. For similarly engraved gems, see G. Lippold, Gemmen und Kameen des Altertums und der Neuzeit (1922), pl. 36–39. For sculptural representations of the youthful Heracles, see A Passion for Antiquities : Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (1994), no. 100 ; and Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, vol. 4 (1988), pl. 464ff., 745f.

RING WITH ENGRAVED HERACLES

Greek, early 4th century B.C. Gold L. of bezel 2.16 cm


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RING WITH PORTRAIT

The large, flat bezel of this solid gold ring, with its broad, oval shape a slightly faceted hoop, features the engraved portrait of a bearded man. The head is shown in profile to the left, with the neck barely indicated. The exceptionally fine work, which is characterized by detailed modeling of the facial features, shows a strong, balding head with thick, curly hair. The forehead is broad and high, the front marked by three prominent wrinkles. Deep hollows at the root of the nose, fine wrinkles at the corner of the eye, and a deeply furrowed face indicate a certain age and character. Thick eyebrows shadow the small eyes, emphasizing the subject’s ardent yet bitter look. The nose is straight, with a hanging tip and slanting nostrils. The straight lips are shaded by a thick mustache, and the beard is short and slightly wavy. The characteristic features suggest that this is the portrait of a philosopher, orator, or statesman, and the realistic and detailed rendering of individual traits leaves no doubt that it represents a publicly known person. The shape of the ring suggests an origin in the late classical period. Of all possible candidates known from Greek sculpture of this period, only the portraits of Demosthenes compare to this one. The numerous Roman copies showing Demosthenes, who died in 322 B.C. at the age of sixty-two, all go back to a statue made by the Greek sculptor Polyeuktos over forty years after the orator’s death. The facial features of the statue, which was erected in the Agora in Athens, are very close to the portrait on this ring, but less vigorous. In fact, the expression here agrees more with the description of Demosthenes in Plutarch’s Moralia—“Gloomy seriousness was in his features”—than it does with the Roman copies.

There are several engraved gems with portraits of Demosthenes ; while all of them follow the portrait created by Polyeuktos, none of them are as lively as the one on this ring. Here is the portrait of a man who, in his lifetime as a statesman and orator, was the passionate champion of Athenian liberty in the struggles against Philip II and then Alexander of Macedon. Although he failed, he gave the world the highest conception of the duties and tasks of a free democracy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY M. Bieber, The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age (1967), pp. 66f. G. M. A. Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks, vol. 2 (1965), pp. 215–23. J. Spier, Ancient Gems and Finger Rings, Catalogue of the Collections, the J. Paul Getty Museum (1992), no. 220. E. Zwierlein-Diehl, Die Antiken Gemmen des Kunsthistorischen Museums in Wien, vol. 1 (1973), no. 343. A. Furtwänger, Antike Gemmen (1900), vol. 2, pp. 233f., no. 7 ; vol. 3, pl. XLIX, fig. 7.

RING WITH PORTRAIT

Greek, Late Classical, 4th century B.C. Gold D. 2.14 cm


RING WITH ENGRAVED SIREN

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The hoop of this solid gold ring consists of a flat band, which widens into a curve toward a flat, circular bezel. The bezel features an engraved representation of a siren, who is shown in profile to the right, bending her head slightly forward and blowing a double flute that she holds with her raised arms. Both large-taloned feet are set firmly on a ground line. Additional engravings indicate the fine details of the face and hairstyle as well as the feathers of the large wings, the lower part of the body, and the spread tail. Gold rings with engraved circular bezels date to the last decades of the fourth century B.C, the very beginning of the Hellenistic period. Mythical creatures who were partbird, part-woman, sirens were believed to lure sailors to their death through the charm of their music. Although a well-known subject in Greek visual culture, they were rarely found in minor art. A siren with pipes is engraved on a heart-shaped carnelian pendant dated to the fourth century B.C. A gold pendant in the shape of siren playing the double flute, found in a late-fourth-century B.C. context in southern Russia and now in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, features the same large wings as the siren on this bezel.

BIBLIOGRAPHY J. Boardman, Greek Gems and Finger Rings (1970), p. 213, type IX. H. Hoffmann and P Davidson, Greek Gold : Jewelry from the Age of Alexander (1965), pp. 80ff., 88ff., fig. 15c. W. Rudolph, A Golden Legacy : Ancient Jewelry from the Burton Y. Berry Collection at the Indiana University Art Museum (1995), pp. 48ff.

RING WITH ENGRAVED SIREN

Early Hellenistic, late 4th century B.C. Gold D. 2.2 cm


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JEWELRY SET Greek, Hellenistic, late 2nd–1st century B.C. Gold and garnets L. 42 cm (necklace) D. 1.8 cm (ring)

The necklace is comprised of four pendants, three small and one large. All four are oval-shaped, and all are set with an oval garnet on a gold disc. The settings on the three small pendants are surrounded by granular gold beads, while that on the large one is encircled by two registers of filigree and one ring of very small granulations. The innermost ring of filigree is composed of a coiled gold wire, while the second consists of braided gold filigree. The granulations on the large pendant are significantly smaller than those on the three others. The necklace is accompanied by a very pretty ring with a rounded, rectangular bezel in the center ; like the necklace, it is set with a garnet. The upper surface of the stone is curved, while the other sides are flat, with the gold setting extending up around them. The rectangular bezel is flat and is bordered by small, granular, gold beads along the edges. At the point of attachment between the bezel and the ring, there is filigree work that consists of a twisted gold wire and two rows of minuscule granulations. The ring’s broad band is as wide as the bezel ; it is decorated with small, granulated flowers and bordered by gold filigree. The centers of the flowers are composed of beads made of garnet and green emerald.

Both pieces of this finely crafted set are in superb condition. The necklace is completely intact : all four garnet pendants are not only present but remain in their original settings. The gold disks, in which the garnets are set, are not even bent or dented, and much of the fine filigree and granulations remain attached. There are however, some individual granulations that have broken off. The chain, which is composed of braided gold wire, is also in an excellent state of preservation, without any kinks or knots. The ring is in outstanding condition as well, and much of the gold detailing, granulations, and filigree work is completely undamaged. The bezel is remarkable, for residue produced while the ring was being fabricated can still be seen on the edges of the garnet ; this is proof that the stone remains in its original setting, for this residue would have dissolved had the stone ever been removed. One inlaid bead is missing from the band, but this is the only damage the piece has suffered. Given the similarities in style and technique, as well as in the use of the garnets, it is probable that both the necklace and the ring were made by the same workshop and originally designed as a set. Jewelry from the end of the Hellenistic period is generally rare compared to the richness of the tomb finds from the beginning of the period. As such, jewelry sets, especially ones as finely fashioned and well preserved as this one, are exceedingly rare. A much plainer but similarly crafted ring, with a garnet set in a rectangular bezel, can be found in the Musée de Louvre, Paris. That ring is slightly earlier than this set here and dates to the third-to-second century B.C. BIBLIOGRAPHY Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Fall 1995), p. 15.

JEWELRY SET

This extremely elegant set is composed of two elements : a necklace and a ring. The former consists of a long, quadruple chain that holds up multiple hinged pendants ; these are set with four large garnets inserted into beds of gold, with borders ornamented with filigree and granulation. The chain, like the rest of the necklace, is made from gold and attaches to the pendants with gold terminals. There are two gold rings attached to the end of each terminal ; between them is an identical gold ring that attaches to the pendant. A gold rod is threaded through these three rings, joining them together.


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CYLINDRICAL STAND Western Greek, 4th century B.C. Gold D. 12.7 cm

The battle is divided into various groups with nineteen participants altogether. Five are engaged in the main scene, which shows Heracles in a near-frontal pose. With the lion-skin over his left arm, he raises his right arm over his head, swinging his club to attack an Amazon who is already on her knees, hit by a large rock. The hero’s posture, with one leg bent and the other one outstretched, emphasizes the strength behind the mortal blow he is about to deliver. In an even fiercer attitude, a second Greek, his muscular body nude except for a short mantle, uses his left hand to hold the head of a kneeling Amazon. She desperately tries to push him away, but in vain, as he is about to kill her with the short sword in his right hand. At the same time, another Greek attacks her from the other side ; naked but for a Corinthian helmet, he holds a shield in his left hand and a sword in his right. In the second scene, to the right, is another Amazon. While she still holds on to her galloping horse, her upper body is turned backward and her head has fallen down, indicating that she has already been hit with an arrow delivered by the archer to her right. Dressed in a belted tunic and a cloak, he is once again drawing his bow. Behind him, to the right, Heracles turns up again, swinging his club. One of the two Nereids holds a shield in her hand, dividing this second

scene from the third one, which includes three people. Here, in rapid movement to the right, are a nude Hoplite (infantryman) with a pilos (conical hat) and large shield ; a wounded Amazon on horseback, her battle axe fallen down ; and an archer, who is aiming his bow at her. To his right there is a warrior running toward the second Nereid. The fourth group is formed by a Greek warrior and a collapsed Amazon, who runs to the right, her battle axe over her shoulder. The fifth group repeats the scene of a wounded Amazon on horseback with an archer in front of her. The sixth and last group consists of two warriors in combat. Here, a subject quite common in Greek art is presented in a rather unusual way. This scene shows an Amazonomachy in its very last stages, at a point when the Amazons have already lost the battle against the victorious Greeks. The presence of the two Nereids, however, is unclear, as is the duel between the two Greeks. Moreover, while the majority of the figures are stylistically homogenous, this cannot be said of the archers. In addition, there are some discrepancies. The composition of the relief figures seems to have been masterfully arranged with the help of preexisting molds that were not created for this frieze ; nevertheless, the miniature relief can compete artistically with related sculptures on a larger scale. The single figures are beautifully rendered, and the composition is lively and full of tension. As long as they have been known, the purpose of roundels of this type has been considered a mystery. Based on a pair found along with glass flasks in a tomb in Ruvo, Apulia, they were considered to have been supports for precious glass vessels. Careful analysis of finds has shown that in graves they usually appear in pairs, placed on both sides of the head. This suggests that they functioned as female

head adornments, an interpretation that is supported by clay figures on the pottery of the ancient people of Apulia, the Daunians, as well as in pictorial representations. The majority of known cylinders are undecorated and feature an ornamental wire decoration on the top flange. Only three pairs are decorated like this one, with a figural design rendered in repoussé against a granulated background. Theses are in the Musée du Louvre, Paris ; the Museo Archeologico, Napoli ; and the Museo Civico Archeologico, Bologna. None of these possess the artistic quality and decorative effect of this piece. The workmanship and style of this object relate it to Etruscan workshops of the fourth century B.C., while its frieze recalls terracotta reliefs from Taranto in southern Italy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY R. Iker, “A propos des ‘supports de flacons’ italianes,” in T. Hackens, ed., Etudes sur l’orfèvrerie antique (Studies in Ancient Jewelry) (1980), pp. 30ff. P. G. Guzzo, Oreficerie dalla Magna Grecia (1993), pp. 260f. For related Etruscan material, see M. Cristofani and M. Martelli, L’oro degli etruschi (1983), no. 279.

CYLINDRICAL STAND

This cylindrical stand consists of a short tube of gold sheet with a narrow flange at its bottom and a broad one surrounding the top. Edged by beaded wire, the complete surface of the upper flange is decorated with a narrative frieze rendered in repoussé and set against a densely granulated background. It shows an Amazonomachy—a portrayal of a battle between Greeks and Amazons— interrupted by scenes of two Nereids sitting on hippocamps. Dolphins, birds, and half-globules are set at irregular intervals between the single figures.


ORNAMENT

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Greek, 4th century B.C. Gold L. 2.8 cm, H. 1.1 cm

The exact function of this object can only be assumed. The three double loops along one edge suggest that it was used to keep apart three double chains or loops. The decoration, particularly the tongue pattern, relates it to works from the fourth century B.C., including gold plaques found in the Kralevo Tumus, now in the History Museum Turgovishte, Bulgaria, and plaques from the Great Blisnitza tumulus, now in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. In both cases the tongue pattern is executed in repoussé and not in filigree, but the decorative scheme is identical.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the Great Blisnitza plaques in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, see D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1994), no. 127. For the plaques in the History Museum Turgovishte, see I. Marazov, Ancient Gold : The Wealth of the Thracians (1998), no. 40.

ORNAMENT

On this ornament, the plain back of the rectangular gold element is fitted with three vertical double loops, which are symmetrically arranged at the upper edge. The front is surrounded by a strong, beaded frame and six separately made rosettes, one in each corner and one in the center of the two longer sides. The inner frame is composed of two lengths of twisted wire forming a rope, followed by a plain wire. The oblong center is filled with two rows of opposing tongues rendered in filigree.


ACHAEMENID EARRING

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Western Asia, 4th century B.C. Gold D. 4.6 cm

Enclosed in the circle is an ornament composed of seven antithetically arranged bird heads on long necks ; these alternate with three leaf-shaped ornaments that are rendered in repoussé. A large, three-layer rosette covers the center of the earring. On the outside of the hoop there is an additional decoration of cross-shaped wire rosettes with granules in the center and at the ends. Penannular (almost ringlike) earrings of similar shape are well documented from Persia to Western Anatolia. The earliest variations date to around the seventh century B.C., the latest to the fourth century B.C. The type varies from plain-beaded circles to very elaborate ones, which include a piece in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. The rosette in the center of this earring reveals a Greek influence and dates the object to the fourth century B.C.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For Achaemenid earrings from excavated contexts, see C. D. Curtis, Sardis : Jewelry and Goldwork, vol. XIII, pt. 1, 1910–1914 (1925), nos. 67 ff., pl. VII ; K. R. Maxwell-Hyslop, Western Asiatic Jewellery, c. 3000–312 B.C. (1971) p. 269, figs. 257 ff. For the earring in the Musée du Louvre, see R. Ghirshman, The Arts of Ancient Iran (1964), fig. 323. See also B. Musche, Vorderasiatischer Schmuck von den Anfängen bis zur Zeit der Achämeniden (1992), pp. 270 ff., pl. CIV ; and E. Rehm, Der Schmuck der Achämeniden (1997).

ACHAEMENID EARRING

This large single earring forms a circle that is split by an opening with both ends held together by a hinged catch. The circle consists of a hollow, cylindrical tube that is modeled as if it were made up of contiguous spheres with rows of granulation set in the grooves between them.


PAIR OF EARRINGS

14

Greek, 4th–3rd century B.C. Gold H. 2.5 cm.

The pair represents the main elements of earrings during the Classical period : a pendant, and a decorative rosette that hides the purely functional hook. The fine, dustlike granulation of the pendant’s surface, with the ornaments spread out, continues the tradition of the pulviscolo, or fine dust granulation, of Etruscan gold work in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. Other jewelry illustrating this practice include the beads of necklaces in the Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim and the Antikenmuseum Berlin ; a pair of earrings in the Dallas Museum of Art, dated to the fifth century B.C. ; and the bezel of a fourth- to third-century B.C. finger ring in the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Cf. J. Wolters, Die Granulation (1983) fig. 142. For the necklace in the Antikenmuseum Berlin, see M. Cristofani and M. Martelli, L’oro degli Etruschi (1983), no. 154. For the earrings in Dallas, see B. Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (1996), no. 13. For the finger ring in the RISD Museum, Providence, see T. Hackens, Catalogue of the Classical Collection : Classical Jewelry ; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (1976), no. 8.

PAIR OF EARRINGS

Each of these earrings is composed of a large, globular bead with a granule underneath, and above, an ornamental disk with a two-layer rosette hides the hook that allowed the ornaments to be fastened to the earlobe. The surface of the globular pendant bead is completely covered with extremely fine granulation ; it is encircled by a frieze of ivy leaves, arranged one behind the other, and the pointed rays of a star radiate from the small granule at the bottom.


PAIR OF AMPHORAPENDANTS

15

These nearly identical pendants are shaped as amphorae with pointed, bulbous bodies, concave necks, volute handles, and lids that support small suspension loops. The body terminates in three diminishing globules. Shoulder and body are separated by a beaded wire. Below, there is a tongue pattern rendered in wire above an intricate scroll of tendrils, including tiny spirals and heart-shaped ivy leaves. The rim below the lid repeats the tongue pattern. As small as these pieces are, they represent the finest goldwork created during the greatest period for Greek jewelry. The goldsmith who made them can undoubtedly be admired for his devotion, care, and attention to small details. The loops suggest that the two pendants adorned a pair of earrings, while their shape recalls early Hellenistic amphora-pendants in Paris, Boston, and Hamburg.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For Hellenistic amphora-shaped pendants, cf. a pair in the Museo Archeologico, Taranto ; see E. M. de Juliis, Gli ori di Taranto in età ellenistica (1985), no. 81. For amphora-pendants from the second century B.C., see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), p. LI, passim. For an earring with an amphora-pendant, see H. Hoffmann, Antiker Gold- und Silberschmuck (1968), no. 66. For related pendants and forerunners from 430–400 B.C., see D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1995), no. 181f. For the tendril scroll, see M. Pfrommer, Grossgriechischer und mittelitalischer Einfluss in der Rankenornamentik frühellellenistischer Zeit, Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, vol. 92 (1982), pp. 119ff, particularly p. 187, fig. 35.

PAIR OF AMPHORAPENDANTS

Greek, late 4th century B.C. Gold L. 2.75 cm


16

PAIR OF EARRINGS WITH LIONHEAD FINIALS

Each of these hoops is made of twisted wires entwined into a rope with a sharply tapering end. Presented at the opposite terminus is a lion’s head with carefully rendered details and a broad collar strip ; a strip of tongue pattern is set between the head and hoop. The wide collar carries an elaborate decoration of an antithetic spiral rendered in decorative wire and granules. Although typically small in size, lion-head earrings can be said to represent the essence of Hellenistic jewelry. Popular as early as the late 4th century B.C., their success was possibly a result of Alexander the Great’s victory over the Persian king Dareios in 330 B.C. They appeared in all parts of the Greek world and remained a favorite ornament until the third century B.C., when they were replaced by other shapes. The basic lion-head type allowed for an amazing range of variations. Different kinds of wire, plain and ornamental, were used for the hoop, which was constructed using a number of techniques. The lion’s head itself was given a number of stylistic and typological expressions, ranging from small versions to those incorporating impressive liongriffins. In the course of the third century, other animal heads began to be used instead.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For a typological survey, see M. Dilmitrova, “Boulcles d’oreille à tête de lion de l’époque hellenistique (d’après des materiaux de Bulgare),” Archeologia 31, 3 (1989), passim ; H. Hoffmann and P. Davidson, Greek Gold : Jewelry from the Age of Alexander (1965), pp. 2ff ; and M. Pfrommer, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie Frühund Hochhellenistischen Goldschmucks (1990), pp. 145ff., pl. 23f. For related pieces from controlled contexts, see W. Rudolph, A Golden Legacy : Ancient Jewelry from the Burton Y. Berry Collection at the Indiana University Art Museum (1995), p. 130. See also F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), nos. 1728ff ; and A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), pl. 44,1–6.

PAIR OF EARRINGS WITH LIONHEAD FINIALS

Greek, late 4th–3rd century B.C. Gold D. 1.4 cm


STRAP NECKLACE WITH SPEARHEAD PENDANTS

17

This necklace comprises a strap made of several loop-inloop chains that are interlinked side by side ; the strap terminates at both ends in clasps with a filigree decoration featuring a palmette on a spiral base. A fringe of tiny, spearhead pendants, each made of three lobes, is attached to the strap’s lower edge. The join is covered by small, elaborate rosettes that also function as coverings for the wires used to attach the pendants. Necklaces with a regular series of identical pendants have a long history in Greek jewelry and can even be seen represented on vases. Various forms of amphora-shaped pendants were popular in the fourth century B.C., until they were replaced by the spearhead pendant ; a term that is not exactly correct, but is identical to the ancient Greek name used for this type of pendant—logchia or hormoi logchotoi—which is known from early Hellenistic temple inventories. Spearhead necklaces have been found in various parts in Greece, Asia Minor, southern Russia, and Magna Graecia. The earliest examples were found in excavated contexts in Pella and Derveni in Macedonia and date to the late fourth century B.C. ; the latest date to the third century B.C.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For spearhead necklaces in general, see B. Deppert-Lippitz, Griechischer Goldschmuck (1985), pp. 168ff. ; I. Blanck, Studien zum griechischen Halsschmuck der archaischen und klassischen Zeit (1974), pp.83 f. ; D. Williams, “The Kyme Treasure,” in A. Calisnescu, ed., Ancient Jewelry and Archaeology (1996), p. 122f., fig. 5, n. 43. For the necklaces from Pella and Derveni, see K. Ninou, Treasures of Ancient Macedonia (1979), nos. 79, 253. For pictorial representations, P. Amandry, Collection Hélène Stathatos (1953), pp. 210ff., fig. 116. For similar necklaces in the Metropolitan Museum, New York ; British Museum, London ; and State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, see D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1994), nos. 30, 3, and 106 ; in the Antikensammlung, Berlin, see A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), pl. 7, 4f. ; in the Antikensammlung, Munich, see G. Zahlhaas in L. Wamser and R. Gebhard, Gold : Magie Mythos Macht; Gold der Alten und Neuen Welt (2001), p. 263, no. 98 ; Amandry, no. 218 ; H. Hoffmann, Antiker Gold- und Silberschmuck (1968), no. 12.

STRAP NECKLACE WITH SPEARHEAD PENDANTS

Greek, late 4th century B.C. Gold L. 31.8 cm


18

HELLENISTIC DIADEM Northern Greek, late 4th–3rd century B.C. Gold D. 16 cm, L. 37 cm

The work’s style, craftsmanship, and decorative motifs suggest that it was made by a Greek goldsmith during the Hellenistic period, but the particular shape is rare in Greek goldwork. It seems to have been made on the northern fringes of the Greek world, in a horse-breeding region where the myths of centaurs as well that of Heracles were particularly popular. The closest parallel to this piece is a gold diadem with three projecting leaves found in a fourth century B.C. tomb in Thrace. Crownlike diadems with projecting leaves are occasionally depicted on Greek vases dating to the last quarter of the fifth and the first half of the fourth century B.C. The decoration revolves around Heracles with the relief in the center showing the hero’s second labor : fighting the Hydra of Lerna, a snakelike monster with nine heads. The representation is, however, also a reference the story in which the infant Heracles strangled two snakes that Hera had sent to destroy him. Here, he is shown as a small,

naked child wrestling with a snake—not as an adult wearing the lion skin and cutting off the Hydra’s heads with a sword, as would be correct according to Greek mythology. The tripod that is set prominently in the diadem’s center might be the oracle tripod that Heracles had tried to carry away from the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. The centaur on the left, who throws a large stone, refers to the numerous encounters between Heracles and the centaurs. The horse on the right might allude to the hero’s eighth labor, the return of the horses of Diomedes from Thracia to Argos. This object’s original owner was no doubt a high-ranking person, and the decoration of the diadem might indicate their descent from the centaurs and a particular relationship to Heracles.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the Thracian diadem, see V. Vladimirova-Paunova, “An Unknown Rich Grave Find from Thrace (4th cent. B.C.),” Archeologica Bulgarica 2, 2 (1998). pp. 40f., fig. 1. For a diadem with four leafshaped extensions at the top in the Canellopoulos Collection, see Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 104 (1980), pp. 408ff., no. 9, fig. 106. For a krater of the Nikias Painter (c. 425–370 B. C.), see J. Boardman, Athenian Red Figure Vases : The Classical Period (1989), p. 167, no. 319.

HELLENISTIC DIADEM

This diadem consists of a long band made of gold sheet, its open ends fitted with volute-shaped clasps. The front supports a three-dimensional ornament with pointed ends, separately crafted of gold sheet, with a half-column in the center. This column features a tripod rendered in relief. Set on its semicircular top is the small figure of Heracles as a child, wrestling with a snake. Three pointed leaves, also of gold sheet, are vertically attached to the diadem, forming a background to this scene. The central decoration is flanked by a centaur on the left and a galloping horse on the right, both rendered in relief.


19

BELT WITH HERACLES KNOT Greek, late 4th–early 3rd century B.C. Gold, garnet, and emerald green glass L. 73 cm L. 4 cm, W. 2.5 cm (knot) L. 2.5 cm, W. 2.2 (buckle)

The piece comprises three main parts : a large Heracles knot in the center and, on each side, a flat strap of interlinked chains with little loops at the end that allowed the wearer to fasten the straps together and even to adjust the size. Each strap is fitted toward the center with a gold ornament shaped like a pilaster capital, and at the end with a semicircular box. In addition, each strap slides through a square, gold capsule that functions as an extra decoration but also keeps it in shape. The Heracles knot–our modern square knot–is made of two hollow, interlocking loops, their shape emphasized by beading and fine ornamental wire set along the sharply defined outer and inner edges. Running along the curves on top of each loop is a series of palmettes rendered in twisted wire and terminating in a pointed leaf with green glass inlay. Six separately made, five-petal rosettes, also with green glass inlays, are added to this surface decoration. These are arranged in two vertical lines, while three garnet cabochons—an oval one in the center flanked by two circular ones—are mounted in settings with serrated edges, forming a horizontal line. The green glass inlays of the Heracles knot decoration correspond with the similarly inlayed tongue patterns on the lateral plaques, which are fitted with a hinge that links the knot to the pilaster capitals at the end of the straps.

Thick, smooth wire spirals fill the corners between the ends of the Heracles knot and the lateral plaques. On the pilaster capitals, a broad frame of ornamental wire and a tongue pattern with green glass inlays repeats the decorative scheme of the lateral plaques. In addition, a large palmette with an oval, pointed garnet in the center and two five-petal rosettes repeat the style of the Heracles knot itself. The gold capsules that reinforce the ends of the straps, as well as the finials of the straps, feature the same decoration as the pilaster capitals, including the green glass inlay. The elegant shape and design ; the carefully balanced composition of corresponding decorative elements ; the repetition of floral motifs ; the cautious use of colored material that enhances the gold work and at the same time adds a touch of nature ; all epitomize the finest Greek jewelry and the transition from Classical taste to the aesthetic ideas of the Hellenistic period. These characteristics reflect the wealth of this period, which first profited from the output of the Macedonian and Thracian goldmines exploited by King Philip II of Macedonia and then from the vast quantity of Persian gold put into circulation in the Greek world as a result of Alexander the Great’s conquests in the East. The belt illustrates several features that indicate characteristic trends in Greek jewelry that started around this time. The knot of Heracles, while known before, now became a leading motif in jewelry. The approach to polychromy is still discreet on this piece in comparison to later Hellenistic work but already announces the lavish use of colored inlays that marked the products of the second century B.C. The red of the garnets cut for the cabochon, as on this piece, became the preferred color and was combined

with emerald green, which was achieved by using the actual stone or, when it was not available, with green glass. Decorative wire of various shapes was generously used for geometric as well as naturalistic ornaments. This object belongs to a small group of particularly exquisite ornaments that are usually interpreted as diadems, although the French archaeologist Pierre Amandry questioned that purpose as early as 1958, suggesting that they might be belts. Their common features are a large, lavishly decorated Heracles knot in the center, which is flanked by pilaster capitals and one or two loop-in-loop bands on both sides, sometimes of considerable length. This piece seems to be the earliest example of this group.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For belts such as this in general, see P. Amandry, Collection Hélène Stathatos, Les bijoux antiques (1953) pp. 118ff. Two plain straps found in Mottola in southern Italy were certainly parts of a belt, as were two sections from Santa Eufemia ; see D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1994), no. 141. Plaques in the shape of pilaster capitals flank a large Heracles knot on three belts/ diadems from Thessaly in the Benaki Museum, Athens (see M. Pfrommer, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie früh- und hochhellenistischen Goldschmucks (1990), HK 17, pl. 12,3 ; HK 18–19 ; TK 17, pl. 13, 1–2) ; one from Hadji Mouschkais/Pantikapaion in southern Russia, now in the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad (see Pfrommer, pl. 12,1) ; and one from Macedonia in Boston (Pfrommer, pl. 12,2). In Berlin, a long chain with a large Heracles knot, too long for a diadem and too short for a body chain, may also have been a belt (see Pfrommer, pl. 10,2 ; and E. Formigli and W.D. Heilmeyer, Tarentiner Goldschmuck in Berlin (1990).

BELT WITH HERACLES KNOT

The ninth labor imposed on Heracles was to bring back the precious belt of Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons. It was Admete, the daughter of Eurysteus, who urged her father to obtain this belt, as it gave supremacy and power to the wearer. We do not know what Hippolyte’s belt might have looked like or whether it was made of gold and precious inlays, but elaborate belts like this one certainly added to their owner’s status and prestige.


BELT WITH HERACLES KNOT

19


PAIR OF FIBULAE AND CHAIN

20

This breast ornament consists of two bow-shaped fibulae and the long, rope-shaped chain that connects them. One end of the chain terminates in a serpent head, forming a hook that links it to one of the fibulae. The other end is inserted in a faceted tubular element, which is attached to the second fibula with the help of a separate wire hook. Inserted into three openings in this element are three short chain pendants that terminate in gold beads shaped as pomegranates. A large, separately made large rosette sits atop the tubular element, hiding this perfectly organized arrangement as well as the hook that links it to the fibula. Both fibulae are composed of a curved gold rod over which are threaded four “paddle wheels” made from gold sheet. At one end, the bow terminates in a large plate of gold sheet that is shaped as a palmette and engraved accordingly ; this held the pin that allowed the fibula to be fastened to a garment. At the other end of the bow is a catch plate that held the pointed end of the pin ; it is flanked by two large, hollow globules. Both the production of Greek jewelry and the influence of Greek goldwork extended beyond the borders of the Greek world, even when regional styles prevailed. Numerous examples illustrate that, in the northern Balkans, Greek artistic conventions were adapted to local types and forms. Arched fibulae of this type, although found in sanctuaries throughout Greece, were the common shape of this region. Worn in pairs, they were held together by a chain draped over the upper part of the body. Bronze was normally used, but the elite could afford silver and even gold versions of exactly the same type.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For related material in the British Museum, London, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, see D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1995), nos. 9 and 33, respectively. For fibulae in the Stathatos Collection, Athens, see P. Amandry, Collection Hélène Stathatos (1953), pp. 284ff. and an addendum on p. 236 ; for those in the Antikenmuseum Berlin, see H. Hoffmann and P. Davidson, Greek Gold : Jewelry from the Age of Alexander (1965) no. 76.

PAIR OF FIBULAE AND CHAIN

Northern Greek, 4th century B.C. Gold L. 12.5 cm L. 10.5 cm L. 40 cm (chain)


LARGE EARRING WITH LION’S HEAD

23

The hoop of this earring, broad at one end and tapering toward the other, is made of twisted wire spiraled around an inner core. The broad end terminates in a large lion’s head with baroque features, including fur, a high, raised mane with ruffs, and detailed facial features such as a tongue, teeth and inlaid eyes. A decorative collar joins this large head with the hoop. The small head at the other end, a miniature version of the large one, is removable. Immediately after they were first introduced into the repertory of Greek jewelry, lion-head earrings became the most popular type of ear ornament. The basic scheme, a lion head attached to the broad end of a tapering hoop, never changed but did allow for a number of differences. The most splendid variations are those developed by Greek goldsmiths in Magna Graecia, which is today southern Italy. There, especially large lion heads with high, fancy manes and ornate faces were combined with elaborate hoops. This piece is a characteristic example of the flamboyant style favored in the wealthy Greek cities of southern Italy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY See B. Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (1996), pp. 132f., no. 49 ; C. Alexander, Greek and Etruscan Jewelry, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1940), fig. 16 ; D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1994), no. 148 ; A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), pl. 45, 10–11 and E. M. de Juliis, Gli ori di Taranto in età ellenistica (1984), no. 197. For the typological development of this form, see M. Pfrommer, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie früh- und hochhellenistischen Goldschmucks (1990), pl. 30.

LARGE EARRING WITH LION’S HEAD

Magna Graecia, late 3rd century B.C. Gold H. 3.05 cm


STRAP NECKLACE WITH GLOBULAR PENDANTS

22

This necklace is composed of a ribbon of interlinking, loopin-loop chains from which ďŹ fty small ornaments are suspended. The pendants have short necks, globular bodies, and pointed tips in the form of small granules. The strap and pendants are joined with the help of simple wire rings. This type of necklace repeats the traditional composition of Greek necklaces that support a series of small pendants. Like a spear-head necklace in the British Museum, London, this variation seems to have been introduced toward the end of the fourth century B.C. A similar necklace found in a grave in Derveni (Thessaly), now in the museum in Saloniki, is an example of a dated parallel. Unlike this necklace, the decoration of which is restricted to the central part, the Derveni necklace features a pendant fringe covering the whole length.

BIBLIOGRAPHY The closest parallel to this necklace is a slightly more elaborate one, said to come from Capua, in the British Museum, London ; see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), no. 1948. For the Derveni necklace, see K. Ninou, ed., Treasures of Ancient Macedonia (1979), no. 254. For the necklace in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, see D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1994), no. 23. A slightly later version from a Greek tomb in Saticula is in the Museo Nazionale, Naples ; see R. Siviero, Gli ori e le ambre del Museo Nazionale di Napoli (1954), pl. 100.

STRAP NECKLACE WITH GLOBULAR PENDANTS

Greek, 3rd century B.C. Gold L. 26.5 cm


LARGE EARRING WITH LION’S HEAD

23

The hoop of this earring, broad at one end and tapering toward the other, is made of twisted wire spiraled around an inner core. The broad end terminates in a large lion’s head with baroque features, including fur, a high, raised mane with ruffs, and detailed facial features such as a tongue, teeth and inlaid eyes. A decorative collar joins this large head with the hoop. The small head at the other end, a miniature version of the large one, is removable. Immediately after they were first introduced into the repertory of Greek jewelry, lion-head earrings became the most popular type of ear ornament. The basic scheme, a lion head attached to the broad end of a tapering hoop, never changed but did allow for a number of differences. The most splendid variations are those developed by Greek goldsmiths in Magna Graecia, which is today southern Italy. There, especially large lion heads with high, fancy manes and ornate faces were combined with elaborate hoops. This piece is a characteristic example of the flamboyant style favored in the wealthy Greek cities of southern Italy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY See B. Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (1996), pp. 132f., no. 49 ; C. Alexander, Greek and Etruscan Jewelry, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1940), fig. 16 ; D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold (1994), no. 148 ; A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), pl. 45, 10–11 and E. M. de Juliis, Gli ori di Taranto in età ellenistica (1984), no. 197. For the typological development of this form, see M. Pfrommer, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie früh- und hochhellenistischen Goldschmucks (1990), pl. 30.

LARGE EARRING WITH LION’S HEAD

Magna Graecia, late 3rd century B.C. Gold H. 3.05 cm


PAIR OF EARRINGS ORNAMENTED

24

WITH TWO EROTES

These two gems, which are nearly identical but symmetric, were certainly a pair. They were each made of three elements. The first is a long, gold wire, bent into a hook shape for insertion into the earlobe. Soldered to this hook is a disk that is fashioned into a seven-petal rosette with a central sphere and edges in twisted gold wire. The second part is an amethyst bead suspended from the disk by a ring made of gold wire. The third element is a figurine of a standing Eros, draped only in a chlamys (cloak) fastened by a belt worn across the shoulder. Above his head, the boy holds a seemingly smooth sphere, perhaps a ball ; his other hand is open, as if he is preparing to receive something. The figure’s pose is slightly enigmatic : perhaps he is in the middle of juggling his ball, tossing it from one hand to another. His legs are crossed, as if he is lightly tracing a dance step. As is often the case in Greek art, these winged Erotes are represented as children with soft bodies and open, smiling expressions ; their hair, descending just to the nape of the neck, covers the top of the head like a cap. This type of jewel, with a rosette and/or a stone sandwiched between the hook and pendant, enjoyed remarkable success throughout the Greek world, especially during the early stages of the Hellenistic period. The two most popular pendant subjects for the female consumers who would have worn these earrings were undeniably figurines of Eros or Nike. While Eros’s ancient iconography is extremely rich and varied, this representation is nevertheless very interesting, because a representation of juggling or ball playing has never before been attested to among all the numerous figures of the young god used as earring pendants. Often, Eros is portrayed with a bow, a lyre, vessels, a theater mask, or bunches of grapes. On the other hand, images of Eros entertaining himself with a ball appear on many Greek red figure vases from the end of the fifth century B.C.

BIBLIOGRAPHY B. Deppert-Lippitz, Griechischer Goldschmuck (1985), p. 230, n. 166. H. Hoffmann and P. Davidson, Greek Gold : Jewelry from the Age of Alexander (1966), pp. 86–87, no. 14, no. 18, p. 94 ; F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), pls. 32–33. For more on Eros, see Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, vol. 3 (1986), s.v. Eros, Amor/Cupido, pp. 850–1049 ; cf. pp. 914–15, nn. 755–58, 766, for Eros playing with a ball.

PAIR OF EARRINGS ORNAMENTED

WITH TWO EROTES

Hellenistic, 3rd century B.C. Gold and amethyst H. 5.3 cm


PAIR OF EARRINGS WITH DOVE PENDANTS

25

Each of these ear ornaments is composed of a large ; elaborate rosette that hides the ear loop ; a miniature sculpture of a dove on a thunderbolt as a pendant ; and of a pair of flanking chain pendants. The rosette consists of a plain gold disk surrounded by two tiers of oval leaves edged by tiny rosettes formed of gold granules. The birds’ heads, with large eyes and prominent beaks, are turned to the side, each in opposing direction. Their necks and bodies are densely covered with fine granulation, indicating feathers, while the open wings are plain except for a line of granules following their outline. The thunderbolt, formed of gold sheet and wire, is slightly distorted. Hollow globules, arranged in pairs and separated from each other by granulated double rings, form the flanking pendant chains, which terminate in clusters of gold spheres. Ear pendants with three-dimensional figural pendants are among the finest examples of Greek jewelry of the fourth century B.C.. Miniature sculptures of birds became popular during the Hellenistic period. Doves are the most common bird motif, as they refer to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. A dove resting on a thunderbolt is most unusual, as this attribute of Zeus is usually reserved for his own bird, the eagle. Comparison with a similarly rendered dove on a related pair of earrings in the Museo Archeologico in Syracuse, Sicily, leaves no doubt that here too, a pair of doves is depicted. The pair represents the craft of the Hellenistic goldsmith at its best, combining creativity, imagination, and technical skill. Particularly noteworthy is the lively posture of the birds, which are presented as if they might take flight at any moment. Also remarkable are the carefully constructed rosette and the splendid decoration of the flanking chains, with finely granulated rings alternating with shiny globules.

PUBLISHED O. Von Falke, Sammlung Marc Rosenberg, sale cat (1929), no. 68, pl. 4 ; Rosenberg a.a.O, fig. 26. BIBLIOGRAPHY For similar earrings in the Museo Archeologico, Syracuse, see B. Deppert-Lippitz, Griechischer Goldschmuck (1985), color pl. XXVII ; see also E. M. de Juliis, Gli ori di Taranto in età ellenistica (1984), pp. 168ff.

PAIR OF EARRINGS WITH DOVE PENDANTS

Hellenistic, 3rd - 2nd century B.C. Gold L. 3.8 cm


26

BUTTERFLY NECKLACE Hellenistic, 2nd century B.C. Gold, garnet, and emerald L. 28 cm.

Necklaces such as this one reflect the taste for color and splendor prevalent in the late Hellenistic period. The use of hinges to connect even small elements illustrates period goldsmiths’ particular interest in arriving at technical solutions that were previously unknown. The butterfly is by no means simply a decorative motif, but a symbol of eternal love. It represents Psyche, the personification of the soul, with whose beauty Eros himself fell in love. Psyche is usually represented as a young girl with small butterfly wings. This subject is known in late Hellenistic jewelry, and there are several necklaces that refer to it. The closest parallel is a butterfly necklace from the Olbia Treasure, now in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. There are also other butterfly necklaces, one in the KoflerTruninger Collection, allegedly from southern Russia ; another from Chersonesus, in southern Russia ; and a third in the British Museum, London, reportedly from Italy. Similar in composition and style are a necklace from Palaiocastro, Thessaly, in the National Museum, Athens and another from the Artjukhov Barrow in southern Russia.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the necklace in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, see A. Oliver, “The Olbia Treasure,” in A. Garside, ed., Jewelry, Ancient to Modern (1979), pp. 94ff., no. 281. For that in the Kofler-Truninger Collection, see H. Hoffmann and P. Davidson, Greek Gold : Jewelry from the Age of Alexander (1965) p. 142, no. 51. For the necklace from Chersonesus, see E. H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks (1971), p. 407, fig. 295. For the necklace in the British Museum, London, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), no. 2746 ; and R. A. Higgins, Greek and Roman Jewellery, 2d ed. (1980), pl. 56. For the necklace from the Palaiocastro Treasure, see B. Pfeiler-Lippitz, “Späthellenistische Goldschmiedearbeiten,” Antike Kunst 15, 2 (1972), p. 108, pl. 30,1. The necklace from the Artjukhov Barrow appears in Minns, fig. 321.

BUTTERFLY NECKLACE

Composed of settings with beaded edging and colored inlays, this necklace’s elaborate centerpiece is linked on both sides to two cordlike, loop-in-loop chains ; these terminate in finely molded lynx-head finials that hold small loops in their open mouths. The broad, gold frames of the seven box settings contrast with their colored inlays. A large garnet occupies the center ; this oval cabochon is flanked by two slightly smaller emerald ones, which are themselves framed by oval garnets, and finally by a circular setting at each end containing a garnet. All of these are joined by tiny hinges. Below, an elaborate arrangement in the shape of a butterfly is supported by short chains attached to the animal’s naturally rendered wings.


LARGE FINGER RING

27

Hellenistic, 2nd century B.C. Gold and amethyst D. 4.3 cm

Hellenistic goldsmiths and their clients obviously favored large finger rings like this one, with raised and stepped bezels. They are usually oval, but there is also a group of hexagonal ones that may have all originated in the same workshop. Close, dated parallels include a similarly constructed finger ring with a garnet inlay from Pelinna in Thessaly ; another from the so-called Family Tombs on Eretria ; and a third from a tomb in Ancona, Italy. Also closely related are two finger rings in the British Museum, London ; one in the John Huston Collection, San Francisco ; and a recently acquired piece in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

BIBLIOGRAPHY S. Miller, Two Groups of Thessalian Gold, Classical Studies 18 (1979), pp. 40f., pl. 26 c–d, with further references. For the rings in the British Museum, London, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Finger Rings, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1907), nos. 843–44. For that in the John Huston Collection, see A. Greifenhagen, “Antiker Goldschmuck in amerikanischem Privatbesitz,” Pantheon 26 (1967), p. 82, figs. 6–7, color pls. For the ring in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, see Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Fall 2006), pp. 8f. See also C. Carducci, Ori e argenti dell’Italia antica (1961), p. 101M, no. 848 ; and, from the sale of the Guilhou Collection, Sotheby’s London, Superb Collection of Rings (Nov. 9–12, 1937), lot. 360, pl. 12.

LARGE FINGER RING

This highly distinctive finger ring consists of two parts hinged together. The first is the raised bezel, which is surmounted by a large, oval amethyst cabochon in a projecting setting. The second is an elaborate, separately made hoop.


BRACELET WITH LYNX HEAD TERMINALS

28

The hoop of this bracelet is made of thick wire shaped into a twisted rope ; one end terminates in a permanently fixed hinge, the other in a hinge with a removable pin. Between the two ends there is a separately made section consisting of two lynx heads sharing a rabbit. The cats’ necks are formed as plain collars with beaded edging, and their ends fitted with the counterparts of the hinges, which link this section to the hoop. Upon removing the pin on one side, the terminal swings open, allowing the wearer to slip the bracelet on or off. Lynxes appear frequently on Hellenistic gold jewelry, usually on earrings and necklaces, but this particular variation is a rare exception because it depicts a hare. In style and composition, this work is closely related to a bracelet in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, which has a similar hoop that terminates in two lion heads, each biting one side of a globule. The Baltimore piece has been dated to the Roman period. Based on stylistic and typological parallels, an attribution to the late Hellenistic period is likely for both bracelets, more so than the comparison with the bracelet terminating in lynx heads in the Benaki Museum, Athens.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the bracelet in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, see A. Oliver in A. Garside, ed., Jewelry, Ancient to Modern (1979), no. 335 ; for its mate in the Gans collection, see R. Zahn, Die Sammlung der Galerie Bachstitz (1921), no. 50, pl. 15. For a lynx-head bracelet in the Benaki Museum, Athens, see Gold of Greece : Jewelry and Ornaments from the Benaki Museum (1990), pp. 44f., fig.16, color pl. See also H. Hoffmann and P. Davidson, Greek Gold : Jewelry from the Age of Alexander (1965), pp. 147–51, no. 53 ; pp. 167–71, no. 61f.

BRACELET WITH LYNX HEAD TERMINALS

Late Hellenistic, 2nd–1st century B.C. Gold H. 7.15 cm, W. 7.5 cm, Th. 2.34 cm


29

JEWELRY GROUP Late Hellenistic, 3rd–2nd century B.C. Gold, amethyst, emeralds, agate and garnet L. 26.5 cm (necklace), L. 6.5 cm, W. 2.3 cm (earrings)

This group comprises a necklace and a matching pair of earrings. The necklace consists of a large, decorative centerpiece in the shape of three oval box settings, held on each side by an identical polychrome chain. The box settings themselves vary in size ; the large one in the center is set with an amethyst, the two smaller flanking ones with emeralds. These are hinged to each other as well as to two three-dimensional, finely shaped lynx heads at the inner end of each chain, which seem to hold the centerpiece with their teeth. Although very different from the centerpiece they support, the polychrome chains are equivalent in beauty and artistic quality. They are formed of gold, emerald, and banded agate beads, and separated by small circlets of gold granules. A noteworthy detail is the diamond-shaped pattern of gold granules on the globular gold beads. The earrings are similar in style. Their central element is a circular frame decorated with granulated triangles, which surround a box setting holding an emerald. Above, there are two more settings, one oval, and the other circular. The joins are embellished by wire spirals and small beads, which are held by gold pins with elaborate heads. Attached to the back of this central element is an ear wire, the lower end of which forms a hinge that holds a slender, very decorative amphora. A banded agate forms the body of the amphora, its white bands horizontally arranged ; the small neck, the delicate volute handles, and the elongated foot, sitting on its square base, are made of gold. Tassels and pendants combining gold chains, granulated circlets, and garnet and emerald beads flank the amphora. Both the necklace and the ear ornaments represent the characteristic features of fine Hellenistic jewelry dating to the second century B.C. ; these include a predilection for

color, a high degree of technical skill with granulation and hinges, and finely shaped lynx heads. The basic shape of this type of necklace is reflected in examples in the Metropolitan Museum, New York ; further parallels are in the British Museum, London, and the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. BIBLIOGRAPHY For a related necklace with lynx heads holding a centerpiece composed of box settings, see N. Anfimov, The Kuban’s Ancient Gold (1987), p. 205, for a necklace in the Krasnodar Museum, originally from a barrow at Peschany village excavated in 1979, see M. I. Maksimov, Artischovskij Kurgan (1979), p. 29. For the centerpiece, cf. F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), no. 2747. For the lynx-head finials on a necklace in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, see Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 4-6 (1995), p. 15. For the necklace from the Olbia Treasure in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, see A. Oliver, Jr., “The Olbia Treasure,” in A. Garside, ed., Jewelry, Ancient to Modern (1979), pp. 94ff., no. 281. See also M. Pfrommer, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie früh- und hochhellenistischen Goldschmucks (1990), pp. 92f. For the diamond pattern, see W. Rudolph, A Golden Legacy, Ancient Jewelry from the Burton Y. Berry Collection at the Indiana University Art Museum (1995), p. 172, no. 36.A.6 ; and N. A. Antimov, The Kuban’s Ancient Gold (1987), no. 209. For Hellenistic jewelry in general, see M. Pfrommer and T. Markus, Greek Gold from Hellenistic Egypt, Getty Museum Studies on Art (2001) ; and B. Deppert-Lippitz, “Späthellenistische Goldschmiedearbeiten,” Antike Kunst 15, 2 (1972). For the ear pendants, cf. a pair from the first century B.C./first century A.D. burial mound at Nogaichik in the Crimean Peninsula, now in the Museum of Historical Treasures, Kiev ; M. Y. Treister, “Concerning the Jewelry Items from the Burial Mound at Nogaichik,” Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 4, 2 (1987), p. 134ff., fig. 9. For related pieces in the British Museum, see Marshall, nos. 2324–31.

JEWELRY GROUP NECKLACE AND MATCHING EAR PENDANTS

NECKLACE AND MATCHING EAR PENDANTS


CRESCENTSHAPED PENDANT

30

Late Hellenistic, 1st century B.C. Gold H. 3.2 cm

Crescent-shaped pendants like this one were primarily meant to protect the wearer. The care and attention given to the piece illustrates the love of detail, the sense of proportion, the care, and the technical skill that lateHellenistic goldsmiths were willing to devote to even small ornaments. The crescent is originally a western Asiatic motif that found its way to Greece at a very early stage. In jewelry it became popular in the Hellenistic period. It is almost certainly identical to the silver meniskoi mentioned in Hellenistic treasure inventories of the Artemision on Delos. In amulet form, it remained popular even in the Roman imperial periods.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the meniskoi mentioned in temple inventories, see St. Miller, pp. 29f., n. 170. For related material in the British Museum, London, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), no. 2719 ; for that in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, see H. Hoffmann, Antiker Gold- und Silberschmuck (1968), nos. 30–31 ; in Sofia, Bulgaria, see L. Ruseva-Slokoska, Roman Jewellery : A Collection of the National Archaeological Museum, Sofia (1991), nos. 120–26. For depictions of crescent pendants in Egyptian mummy portraits, for instance a fine example from Hawara in the British Museum, see Ancient Faces (1997), pp. 43f., nos. 17–18 ; for a large lunula pendant on a second-century portrait, see U. Horak in Bilder aus dem Wüsensand (1998), p. 120, no. 30, color plate.

CRESCENTSHAPED PENDANT

This pendant, which takes the shape of a faceted crescent, is partly decorated with granulated triangles. Three fivepetal rosettes embellish the joins between the hoop and the pyramid-shaped finials as well as the join between the crescent and the loop.


31

PAIR OF BRACELETS Hellenistic, 1st century B.C. Gold, pearls and colored stones D. 9.7 cm

At the ends of each arm, there is a broad, cufflike element covered with various types of decorative wire and granulated triangles. This decoration frames the cloisonné work, which is arranged in three registers on the outside of the hoops. The central register displays a completely granulated band that features, at regular intervals, oval settings holding colored stones and glass. These settings are surrounded by small globules that correspond to the beaded edging. The two outer registers are divided into equally spaced cells that are filled with colored glass inlays. Only a few inlays and cells have survived, but they are enough to suggest the original effect of a red, turquoise, and white ribbon that matched the color scheme both of the central register and the hinge-pin at the back. A particularly fascinating detail is that of the two snakes, whose bodies coil around the hoop, with heads meeting above the centerpiece and tails meeting below. A very similar design was used for a finger ring found in grave 289 in Amphipolis, Thessaly, and for a finger ring in the Alice and Louis Koch Collection. Hinged bracelets with an ornamental centerpiece and articulated arms originated in the late Hellenistic period, but only a few examples have survived in this shape, style, and decoration. The closest parallel to this pair are the

bracelets from the so-called Olbia Treasure in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. Similarly constructed but completely different in its design and manufacture is the hinged bracelet from the Palaiokastro Treasure in the National Museum, Athens.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the bracelets in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, see A. Oliver, Jr., “The Olbia Treasure,” in A. Garside, ed., Jewelry, Ancient to Modern (1979) pp. 94ff. For the Palaiokastro Treasure, see B. Deppert-Lippitz, Antike Kunst 15, 2 (1972), pp. 109f, pl. 33, 2–3 ; A. S. Arvanitopullos, AM 37 (1912), pp. 73ff. ; H. Hoffmann and P. Davidson, Greek Gold (1965), pp. 278–86. For the finger ring from Amphilos, see R. Lane Fox, The Search for Alexander (1980), no. 90, color plate 13) ; for that in the Alice and Louis Koch Collection, see A. B. Chadour, Ringe ; die Alice und Louis Koch Sammlung vol. 1 (1994), no. 114.

PAIR OF BRACELETS

The center of each of these bracelets is formed by a large, oval box setting that is edged by fine gold globules and framed at the top and bottom by two snake heads and tails. The setting is hinged on both sides to two curved arms. A third hinge, formed of green glass beads and pearls, holds the arms together at the back.


SNAKE BRACELET

32

Late Hellenistic, 1st century B.C. Gold W. 8.4 cm

With this work, the artist downplayed the fierceness of snakes and created a realistic, aesthetically convincing representation. The ornamental arrangement of head, neck, and tail recalls a pair of silver bracelets that were part of a late fourth century B.C. grave excavated in the village of Kralevo, Bulgaria. In contrast to this bracelet, however, the bodies of the Bulgarian snakes are rendered in sheet gold rather than strong wire.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the Kralevo Treasure, see G. Ginev, Sukrovishteto ot Kralevo (1983), pp. 27ff., figs. 17–19. See also P. Amandry, Collection Hélène Stathatos, vol. 1 (1953), nos. 219, 225–61 ; A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), tf. 82,13. For a related snake bracelet in the Anikenmuseum Berlin (said to come from Taranto), see E. Formigli and W. D. Heilymeyer, Tarentiner Goldschmuck in Berlin (1990), pp. 55ff ; and A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 1 (1970), pl. 20, 1. For a careful analysis of the type, see W. Rudolph, A Golden Legacy : Ancient Jewelry from the Burton Y. Berry Collection at the Indiana University Art Museum (1995), pp. 177ff., no. 39.

SNAKE BRACELET

This bracelet features a single spiral that terminates at one end in a snake’s head turned sharply to the left, and at the other end in the animal’s tail. While the body is left as a plain rod, the head and tail are modeled in quite a naturalistic fashion. At both ends, the snake’s skin is indicated by cross-hatching.


SERPENT BRACELET

33

This bracelet is a lively depiction of a wide, coiling snake’s body with the neck and open-mouthed head curving to one side and the tail bent backward. The plain rod that forms the neck and body is forged into two generous bends, the tail into a corkscrew twist. The physical details of the head are indicated with care, creating a markedly naturalistic effect that is emphasized by the crosshatched scales covering the upper part of the body and the end of the tail. The gold snake captures the gliding, sensuous, and sinister nature of a creature that has held an age-old fascination for humankind. This bracelet continues a tradition which in the Greek world began as early as 800 B.C. with the first silver and silver snake bracelets. Traces of wear add to the charm of this particular piece.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For a parallel example, see Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 104 (1980), p. 397f, nos. 80–81, fig. 87. See also A. Oliver in A .Garside, ed. Jewelry, Ancient to Modern (1979), nos. 322ff.

SERPENT BRACELET

Late Hellenistic, 1st century B.C. Gold D. 7.2 cm


34

SARMATIAN NECKLACE

This neck ornament is composed of three different parts : a complex, ropelike loop-in-loop-chain ; its finials, which take the shape of crouching animals and are inlaid with turquoise ; and a rectangular centerpiece set with a large oval amethyst of exceptionally fine color.

generously used to indicate parts of the bodies of fantastic animals. Splendid examples of Sarmatian work and style have been found in the rich burials of these nomads, who inhabited the steppes from Afghanistan in the east to the Ukraine in the west.

The most fascinating elements are the crouching animals, which tuck their front and rear legs under themselves. While their bodies and ferocious appearances are that of a lion, the twisted, curving horns above their heads make them into lion-griffins. These fantastic creatures are generously inlaid with turquoise, which are set into openings and function as an integral part of the bodies : haunches, ribs, ears, eyes, and cheeks are all indicated by drop-shaped inlays of various sizes. With its muzzle, one lion-griffin holds a square setting also filled with turquoise. The other hook, also covered with a similar setting, links the chain to the central ornament. The clear, geometric lines of this ornament present a remarkable contrast to the liveliness of the animals. A rectangular, gold base supports the slightly raised oval setting, which holds a domed amethyst, perhaps originating in Siberia, surrounded by a ledge.

Late Sarmatian gold work of the first century B.C. to the first century A.D. sometimes shows the influence of goldsmiths of the Classical world ; this object, for example, is a Sarmatian interpretation of the Hellenistic animalhead necklace. A similar hinged clasp, with an oval mount on a rectangular base, was used for a Hellenistic bracelet now in the Museum of Historical Treasures, Kiev. Together with an armlet decorated in the characteristic Sarmatian “colored animal style,” it was found in a rich Sarmatian tomb excavated in Nogichik on the Crimean Peninsula and dated to between the first century B.C. and the first century A.D.

While the multiple chain and the central setting of this impressive piece accord perfectly with the jewelry of the late Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman periods, the crouching animals with integrated turquoise inlays suggest a late Sarmatian origin. The Sarmatians, a multitribal confederacy of Iranian people akin to the western Scythians, favored a very particular goldwork marked by their own colorful interpretation of the famous “Animal Style.” Oval, drop-shaped, circular, and even rectangular turquoise was

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the bracelet and armlet in the Museum of Historical Treasures, Kiev, see M. Y. Treister, “Concerning the Jewelry Items from the Burial Mound at Nogaichik,” Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 4, 2 (1997), pp. 122ff, figs. 2, 17f. For the armlet, see also L’oro di Kiev (1987), no. 47. For Sarmatian goldwork in general, see V. Guguev, “The Gold Jewelry Complex from the Kobyakov Pit-Burial,” in A. Calinescu, ed., Ancient Jewelry and Archaeology (1996), pp. 51ff. For Sarmatian history and art in general, see T. Sulimirski, The Sarmatians (1970). For finds from Afghanistan, see V. Sarianidi, The Golden Hoard of Bactria (1985) ; and from the Ukraine, see R. Rolle, M. Müller-Wille, and K. Schietzel, Gold der Steppe : Archäologie der Ukraine (1991), esp. nos. 161f., 155, 145. Cf. M. Karabelnik, Aus den Schatzkammern Eurasiens : Meisterwerke Antiker Kunst (1993), no. 138.

SARMATIAN NECKLACE

1st century B.C.–1st century A.D. Gold, turquoise and amethyst L. 36.5 cm L. 3.7 cm, W. 2.2 cm (centerpiece)


35

GOLD PENDANT WITH A FIGURINE OF HARPOCRATES

Here, a chubby infant boy, sporting a child’s haircut and a short tunic, is positioned in a hipshot stance on a small base. Placing his right forefinger to his mouth, he holds in his left arm a cornucopia, or horn of abundance, that features minutely detailed fruits and a snake. At his feet is a falcon. A ring of double-layered, twisted gold is inserted into a small ring soldered to the back. The statuette, made of solid gold, represents the god Harpocrates, a Greco-Roman version of the Egyptian childgod Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, who personified the newborn sun each day. The Egyptians pictured him with his finger on his lips, a realization of the hieroglyph for “child” that is completely unrelated to the Greco-Roman (and modern) gesture for silence. In the second century B.C., Egyptian cults extended into the Greek and Roman worlds, and as Isis took on the attributes of Aphrodite, Harpocrates assumed those of Aphrodite’s son, Eros. Due to his Egyptian origin, however, he wears a pharaohlike double crown. The Roman affection for mystery cults included the worship of Egyptian gods, and Harpocrates became so popular that Pliny could complain about his omnipresence. The Romans did not hesitate to endow Harpocrates with attributes of various origins : the cornucopia of the Roman goddess Fortuna, the falcon of Horus, and the snake, which might refer to Isis. The statuette belongs to a small group of similar gold, silver, and bronze pendants that were found all over the Roman Empire. Figurines of this type recovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii suggest their popularity and date before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Cf. LIMC IV (1988), p. 415, s.v. Harpokrates. For a detailed study of the iconography and interpretation of small Harpocrates statuettes, see R. A. Lunsingh Scheurleer, “From Statue to Pendant : Roman Harpocrates Pendants in Gold, Silver, and Bronze,” in A. Calinescu, ed., Ancient Jewelry and Archaeology (1996), pp. 152ff. ; R. A. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Antieke Sier : Goud en zilver van Grieken en Romeinen (1987), pp.51ff., no. 34. For the Pliny quotation, see Pliny, Historia Naturalis 33.41.

GOLD PENDANT WITH A FIGURINE OF HARPOCRATES

Early Roman, late 1st century B.C.–1st. century A.D. Gold H. 3.6 cm


CHAIN WITH PENDANTS

36

Roman, 1st century A.D. Gold, pearl L. 118 cm, H. 4.1 cm

Multiple loop-in-loop chains of extraordinary length were most likely arranged around the upper part of the body. The closest known parallel to this one is a chain in the Museo Nazionale di Napoli, which was in all likelihood found in Pompeii. It is fitted with a nearly identical crescentshaped pendant, a particular version of the Roman lunula that is characteristic of early Imperial necklaces. A shorter, less elaborate necklace with a solid gold statuette of Fortuna was excavated in the Casa del Fabbro in Pompeii, making a first century A.D. date for this chain very likely. The pendants, crescent, and statuette are all protective charms. Fortuna was the Roman goddess of fate and luck; the cornucopia signified abundance, the rudder safe travel and return.

BIBLIOGRAPHY L. P. B. Stefanelli and B. Pettinau, L’oro dei romani : gioielli di età imperiale (1992), no. 34, figs. 72 ff. A. D’Ambrosio and E. De Carolis, I monili dall’area vesuviana (1997), no. 31, pl. III. C. Vermeule, Greek and Roman Sculpture in Gold and Silver (1974), pp.19ff.

CHAIN WITH PENDANTS

A cordlike gold chain of remarkable length terminates in ribbed collars, each fitted with a loop. The chain slides through the large loop of a small, crescent-shaped pendant that features an oriental pearl threaded on a fine, gold wire set between its open ends. Attached to the finials is the solid, cast figure of the goddess Fortuna, who stands on a plinth with a ship’s rudder in her right hand and a cornucopia in her left, her head crowned by a half-moon.


37

RING MODELED IN THE SHAPE OF A SERPENT

This ring is intact, and all of the decoration is perfectly preserved ; some marks on the body indicate that the jewel was actually worn in antiquity. The body is twisted into a single spiral, and the design is open and modeled, so that one end represents a snake’s head and the other its tail. The body is tubular and, for the most part, smooth ; scales appear near either end and are indicated by crosshatched, incised lines that seem to form a thin net. Just after these scaly areas are small geometric decorations consisting of chevrons and engraved points. The snake’s head is diamond-shaped with a pointed muzzle. The cheeks and the bottom of the jaw display incised scales, while the top of the head is ornamented with many small plaques in relief, which are smooth and separated from one another by deep incisions. Two prominent, bulging globes represent the eyes ; the mouth is marked by a deep groove that follows the contours of the diamond ; and there is no sign of fangs. The naturalistic posture of the coiled serpent—a form that is particularly well suited to rings and bracelets—was a frequent subject for ancient jewelers. Pieces modeled in the shape of serpents, including earrings, rings, and bracelets, were already long known in Greek art by the eighth century B.C.. But it was at the end of the fourth century B.C., especially during the Hellenistic period and the beginning of the Imperial period, that this motif became very popular. Open bracelets in one or more coils, and featuring the head and tail of a serpent, were known in all major centers of the ancient world, including Greece, southern Italy, Egypt, and Syria, and were represented in statues, paintings, terracottas, and other art objects

This ring is very similar to a well-known type of serpent bracelet, which it echoes in small details such as the geometric motifs ; those bracelets are often attributed to Egyptian workshops from the beginning of the Roman period. In Egypt the serpent was often associated with the cult of Isis, but it is impossible to demonstrate the exact connection between Isis and these jewels. The similarities— in dimensions, proportions, the shape of the head and scales, undulations of the tail, subsidiary decorations, and so on—between these pieces from Roman Egypt are such that one can reasonably ask if these gems were not in fact from a single workshop.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the Egyptian bracelets most similar to this one, see A Passion for Antiquities : Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (1994), pp. 327–28, no. 170 (also published in J. Ogden, Ancient Jewellery (1992), pp. 8–9, fig. 1 ; and H. Landenius, “Two Spiral Snake Armbands,” Medelhavsmuseet Bulletin 13 (1978), pp. 37–40. For other Egyptian pieces, see O. W. Muscarella, ed., Ancient Art : The Norbert Schimmel Collection (1974), no. 71 ; and C. Ransom Williams, Gold and Silver Jewelry and Related Objects, New York Historical Society Catalogue of Egyptian Antiquities 1–160 (1924), pp. 109–110, pl. XIV, nos. 40–41. For pieces from Italy and the Greek world, see H. Hoffmann and P. Davidson, Greek Gold : Jewellery from the Age of Alexander (1966), p. 174, no. 65 ; and R. Siverio, Jewelry and Amber of Italy : A Collection in the National Museum of Naples (1959), nos. 154–70.

RING MODELED IN THE SHAPE OF A SERPENT

Roman (Egypt), 1st century A.D. Gold D. 2.2 cm


RING WITH A CAMEO OF A CRAB

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This elliptically shaped ring was created by hammering a thin sheet of gold ; its seam is visible on the interior of the band. It is set with a cameo of a crab, which is sculpted three-dimensionally and emerges clearly from the stone ground. Despite its miniature scale, the animal is carved in a remarkably realistic and precise fashion : one almost expects it to start moving on sand. Representations of crabs, which are generally quite rare, have a long tradition in Graeco-Roman art. From nearly the Archaic period onward, we find these crustaceans painted on black figure ceramics and represented on currency or in glyptic art. At times, they were associated with insects such as scorpions, with fish, and with or other small animals like amphibians or tortoises. In Greek mythology, the crab is a creature that appears only in relation to the labor of Heracles against the Lernean Hydra. During their combat, Hera sent aid to the hydra in the form of a giant crawfish (Karkinos in Greek) that lived in the Lernean Sea. The animal snapped at Heracles with its claws before being defeated by the hero, who became furious at finding himself thus injured. As a reward for its aid, Hera transported Karkinos into the firmament, where it became the astrological sign of Cancer. In Latin, the crab is called cancer ; the same term, which is used in numerous contemporary languages, also indicates an illness that is very difficult to treat. It is probably this meaning of the word that provides a plausible explanation for the presence of this crustacean on the stone of an object as personal as a ring : the image of the animal was intended to serve as an amulet that might shield its wearer against the sickness.

BIBLIOGRAPHY H. B. Walters, Catalogue of the Engraved Gems and Cameos, Greek, Etruscan and Roman in the British Museum (1926), p. 250, nos. 2518–21, pl. XXVIII ; see also nos. 594, 916, 1260, 2780. G. Lippold, Gemmen und Kameen des Altertums und der Neuzeit (1922), pl. XCVII, 4, 7, p. 182. For some ancient Greek images of crabs, see a tetradrachma from Agrigentum in G. M. A. Richter, Animals in Greek Sculpture : A Survey (1930), p. 86, no. 229, pl. LXV ; and an Attic black figure amphora with marine life in G. Zahlhaas, Aus Noahs Arche : Tierbilder der Sammlung Mildenberg aus fünf Jahrtausenden (1996), pp. 15–16, no. 6.

RING WITH A CAMEO OF A CRAB

Roman, 1st century A.D. Gold D. 2.8 cm


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GROUP OF JEWELRY Roman, 3rd century A.D. Gold, sapphire, emeralds, jet and pearl L. 40.3 cm (necklace) L. 3.9 cm, W. 1.3 (earrings) H. 1.5 cm, W. 1.8 cm (pendant) H. 1.3 cm, W. 1.3 cm (buttons) D. 7.8 cm (bracelet)

1. A fine necklace with Heracles knots and sapphire beads 2. A pair of earrings 3. A small gold pendant with broad-ribbed loop 4. Two buttons in the shape of shells 5. A hinged jet bracelet with gold casing and an oval amethyst The necklace is made of flat, wire links in the shape of stylized Heracles knots that alternate with sapphire beads and pearls held by short lengths of wire. The sapphire beads still exist, while the pearls have deteriorated. A long hook and a loop with serrated edges form the clasp. The earrings are composed of square ornamental frames that hold emeralds, and of pendant wires into which are inserted tiny rhomboid settings with a sapphire cabochon. The articulate bracelet is made of two segments of polished jet, a velvet black substance of vegetative origin. The two segments are permanently fixed at one join ; at the other, a hinge allows the bracelet to be opened. The ends of both segments terminate in casings of vertically fluted sheet gold. An amethyst in a gold setting embellishes the center of the larger segment. The small pendant was most likely not part of the necklace but served as an amulet case, originally containing some protective substance or a tiny piece of paper inscribed with magic words ; this piece would have been worn on a thread.

The charming, shell-shaped buttons are fitted with two pins on the back. Originally they were reinforced with a filling, white traces of which are still visible. The necklace represents a particularly fine version of a well-known type of Roman neck ornament that discreetly combines colored stones, glass beads, and pearls with sophisticated gold links. The Heracles knot, known for protecting its wearer, is a well-documented decorative motif—particularly during the third century A.D.— that owed its popularity to its frequent appearance on amulets. Several necklaces with various types of Heracles-knot links were part of hoards that were hidden in France when Germanic invasions threatened the provinces of the Roman Empire in the mid-third century. The composition of the group closely resembles those found in Ratiaria, Bulgaria, and in Cologne ; both representing the personal ornaments of a wealthy lady of the third century, a period when very few could afford such precious objects. When compared to lavishly decorated Greek jewelry, this group might seem to be rather simple, but the fine workmanship and the elegance of the color schemes is what truly gives it value.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the jewelry group from Ratiaria, see L. Ruseva-Slokoska, Roman Jewellery : A Collection of the National Archaeological Museum, Sofia (1991), p. 212, V ; for the group in Cologne, see Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Schmuck der römischen Frau (1993), p. 19, fig. 20. For a similar necklace in the British Museum, London, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), no. 2730, and R. A. Higgins, Greek and Roman Jewllery (1961), II, pl. 58. For another in the Antikensammlung Berlin, see A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975) pl. 31, 4. See also Ruseva-Slokoska, p. 143, no. 106 ; and B. Pfeiler, Römischer Goldschmuck des ersten und zweiten Jahrhunderts n. Chr. nach datierten Funden (1970), p. 67, pl. 15. For the Heracles necklaces from treasures in France, see A. Oliver, Jr., “Roman Jewelry : A Stylistic Survey of Pieces from Excavated Contexts,” in : A. Calinescu, ed., Ancient Jewelry and Archaeology (1996), p. 134f., fig. 7 ; and H. Guiraud, “The Eauze Treasure : Questions of Workshop,” in Calinescu, p. 64f., fig. 2,2. See also C. Metzger, “Les bijoux,” in J.-P. Lasoux et al., Le trésor de Vaise (1994), p. 20. For the ear pendants, cf. B. DeppertLippitz, Goldschmuck der Römerzeit im Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum, RGZM Kataloge 23 (1985), pl 32, no. 75 ; and C. Metzger, p. 21. For the bracelet, see Ruseva-Slokoska, no.146, color plate p. 19. For the bracelet in Tbilisi, see O. Z. Soltes, National Treasures of Georgia (1999), p. 202, no. 102.

GROUP OF JEWELRY

This small group represents the characteristic personal ornaments of a wealthy Roman lady during the third century A.D. and consists of :


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BROOCH Roman, 3rd century A.D. Gold and amethyst H. 2.7 cm, W. 2.8 cm

Both large, decorative brooches and similarly shaped pendants became fashionable in the late second century A.D. In both cases, the usual composition included a colored stone, its imitation in glass, or an engraved gem, respectively a cameo. Most inlays are mounted in a box setting, but in this period Roman goldsmiths were already aware that light enhanced the color of a translucent gemstone, so the large amethyst on this piece was set in an open frame. The ornamental frames of large Roman brooches offered various possibilities for decoration : ornamental wire, repoussé, colored inlays or—as on this piece—one of the most sophisticated decorative techniques of later Roman gold work, the pierced work or opus interrasile. The openwork border on this example relates it to a large brooch allegedly found in Aleppo, now in the Antikenmuseum Berlin.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For the brooch in Berlin, see A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. I (1970), pl. 54,7. For brooches from the third century A.D. in general, see A. Oliver, Jr., “Roman Jewelry : A Stylistic Survey of Pieces from Excavated Contexts,” in A. Calinescu, ed., Ancient Jewelry and Archaeology (1996), pp. 139f. For related material in the British Museum, London, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), nos. 2745, 3007. For examples from the late second century A.D., see B. Musche, Vorderasiatischer Schmuck zur Zeit der Arsakiden und der Sasaniden (1988), pl. LXIIIf. For more on shape and decoration, see B. Deppert-Lippitz, Goldschmuck der Römerzeit im Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum (1985), no. 11. For the openwork technique, see J. M. Ogden and S. Schmidt, “Late Antique Jewellery : Pierced Work and Hollow Beaded Wire,” Jewellery Studies 4 (1990), pp. 5f ; and B. Deppert-Lippitz, “L’Opus interrasile des orfèvres romains,” in C. Eluère, Outils et ateliers d`orfèvres des temps anciens (1993), pp. 69ff.

BROOCH

In this splendid brooch, a large, oval amethyst cabochon is mounted in a plain, gold frame that is surrounded by a broad border of pierced decoration. The decorative design of the openwork is based on an ornament called pelta, as it resembles the shield of the Amazons, for which the name was originally used. Although already part of the Roman repertory of decorative motifs from the first century A.D. onward, the heart-shaped pelta ornament became a particular favorite of Roman metalworkers and goldsmiths of the third century A.D. The shape allowed a number of variations and was often used for the pierced decoration of late Roman gold work, the so-called opus interrasile. On the back, the brooch is fitted with a modern pin.


RING WITH VEGETAL MOTIFS

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This ring is intact and perfectly preserved. As indicated by the marks on the surface of the metal, it was worn in antiquity. The shape of the band, which represents a vegetal wreath, is elliptical ; it is crowned by a solid gold bezel that reproduces the design of rings set with precious stones. On the sides, two decorative leaves join with the band to frame the bezel, which displays an exquisitely engraved motif representing a small branch with two pairs of symmetrical leaves on either side of a central leaf. These are pointed and fashioned in the shape of a heart with serrated edges. The band itself is thick and fashioned as a single piece. On the lower part, a square element holds groups of leaves placed symmetrically to the left and right. These are composed of outer leaves with deeply incised details that envelop a rounded bud ; this motif is repeated two times on each side. The craftsmanship of this piece is particularly fine and precise : a notable plasticity characterizes the entire wreath and the details of the leaves on the bezel, where even the veins and folds of the leaves are clearly visible. The motif of the vegetal wreath ornamenting the band of a ring, while relatively rare, was well attested during the Roman period and was used by jewelers ; especially at the end of the third century A.D. Some garlands and wreaths of flowers or leaves comparable to this one also appear in Roman sculpture and architecture, serving as ornamentation on sarcophagi, monuments, and altars.

BIBLIOGRAPHY F. Henkel, Die römischen Fingerringe der Rheinlande und der benachbaren Gebiete (1913), p. 19, no. 114, pl. VI. For similar rings set with a stone, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Finger Rings, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1907), nos. 505–07, pl. XIV ; and L. Ruseva-Slokoska, Roman Jewellery : A Collection of the National Archaeological Museum, Sofia (1991), p. 178, no. 214.

RING WITH VEGETAL MOTIFS

Roman, 3rd century A.D. Gold D. 2.5 cm


A. BRACELET WITH ROSETTES AND MASKS

B. A BRACELET WITH FRAMES ENCIRCLING LEAVES

Late Roman, 3rd–4th century A.D. Gold D. 10 cm On this bracelet, a solid hoop made from gold sheet forms a tube that is open on the inside, while the arched outside is completely covered with a sophisticated pattern rendered in repoussé. The decoration divides the hoop into two sections, large and small, which are split by vertical beaded lines. Both sections feature the same decoration, a frieze of four-petal rosettes with the tips of the vertical, pointed petals meeting each other at both edges of the piece. The rhomboid space created by two vertical petals is filled by smaller petals originating from the rosettes on both sides, by small, heart-shaped ornaments set in the angle formed by the meeting tips of the petals, and by an ornamental circle containing a small rosette. Toward the edges, the triangular interstices are filled with tiny masks. On both sides of the hoop, the edges are decorated with rows of punched dots.

Late Roman, 3rd–4th century A.D. Gold D. 10.3 cm The hoop of this bracelet, curved on the outside and open on the inside, is made of gold sheet decorated in repoussé. A strictly organized, all-over pattern covers the surface. Facing each other are two rows of broad circular frames, each circumscribing the same quite naturalistically rendered leaf. The interstices between the circles are filled with four-petal rosettes, and beaded lines run along the edges on both sides.

A predilection for color, pearls, and precious stones has often been considered the hallmark of late Roman jewelry. Pieces like this one, however, demonstrate the skill of the craftsmen of this period, who were able to produce masterpieces by working exclusively in gold. The object belongs to a group of luxurious gold ornaments that were produced in the second half of the third and the beginning of the fourth century A.D. Completely different in shape, they all have in common a geometric and stylized figural repoussé decoration that was carefully planned and executed. As on this bracelet, the patterns always follow a well-organized ornamental scheme. Among the bracelets in this group, there are complete hoops, knobbed hoops, and hoops made in two sections with a smaller movable segment, as imitated here by the two beaded vertical lines. A comparison with bracelets that belonged to a coin treasure hidden in Alexandria around 270 A.D. suggests a date for this piece in the late third century A.D.

Like bracelet A, this piece belongs to the group of luxurious Roman bracelets that dates to the third and fourth century A.D. While differing in size, construction, and decoration, they are united by the fact they are made of gold sheet and decorated in repoussé with a usually strictly-organized pattern. BIBLIOGRAPHY (both bracelets) : For a hoop-relief bracelet in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that is particularly close in shape and motif, see S. A. Gonosová and C. Kondoleon, Art of Late Rome and Byzantium in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (1994), no.13. For a related bracelet from an excavated context at Durostorum in the Archaelogical Museum, Svishtov, see I. Popovic, Gold and Silver Jewelry from Durostorum Burials (1999), pp. 32f., no. VII. For a pair of bracelets in the Musée des Antiquités Nationales, Saint-Germain en.Laye, Paris, that was part of the Trésor de Rhetel, deposited c. 260/70 A.D., see Trésors d’orfèvrerie gallo-romaine (1999), no. 121. For the Alexandria Treasure, see E. Breccia, Le Musée Gréco-Romaine 1925–1932 (1932), pl. 20ff. See also Trésors romains–Trésors barbares (1979), no. 19b ; and C. Belting-Ihm, Spätrömische Buckelarmringe mit Reliefdekor, Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz 10 (1965), pp. 97ff. For stylistic comparisons, see also the spacer beads of a late Roman necklace in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, in A. Garside, ed., Jewelry, Ancient to Modern (1979), no. 328 ; for others in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, see A. Lansing, Egyptian Jewelry (1940), no. 20 ; in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and in the Kunsthistorische Museum, Vienna, see J.- A. Bruhn, Coins and Costume in Late Antiquity (1993), passim.

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LATE ROMAN GOLD BRACELETS

LATE ROMAN GOLD BRACELETS


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BRACELET Late Roman, 3rd-4th century A.D. Gold and emerald D. 6.8 cm

This articulate bracelet consists of two basic parts. One is an elaborate hoop, which is composed of rhomboid gold elements with additional granulation. The second is the central ornament, which is made up of six square box settings around a seventh setting that is similar but rectangular in shape ; all are set with emeralds. Both parts are held together by hinges that allow the bracelet to be opened.

This type of bracelet repeats the basic format of finger rings composed of bezel and hoop. (The hinged bezel-hoop system seems, in fact, to be typical of the period of transition from late Roman to early Byzantine styles). The closest parallel is a finger ring in a late antique treasure found at Thetford in England, now in the British Museum, London. The bezel of the Thetford ring consists of an almost square box setting surrounded by eight circular ones. The hoop was composed of a series of small settings that might

be imitated by the gold elements of the bracelets This piece belongs to a group of exquisite arm ornaments of the late antique period, which are characterized by a central ornament that is hinged to a hoop, and that consists of an arrangement of settings with precious or semiprecious stones and their imitations in glass. They are found exclusively worked in gold as well as with colored inlays. Particularly close to this piece are a bracelet in London, said to have been found in North Africa ; a bracelet from Egypt, now in Berlin, and a piece of unknown provenance in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

BIBLIOGRAPHY For late antique bracelets in general, see C. Lepage, “Les bracelets de luxe romains et byzantins du II² au VI² siècle : Etude de la forme et de la structure,” Cahiers archéologiques 21 (1971), p. 1–23. For the finger ring in the Thetford Treasure, see s. C. Johns and T. Potter, The Thetford Treasure (1983), p. 85, pls. 3,8. For the bracelet in the British Museum, London, see F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (1911), no. 2824 ; in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, see C. Metzger, “Un bracelet byzantin en or au Louvre,” Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France 1 (1990), pp. 7–11 ; and in the Antikenmuseum, Berlin, see A. Greifenhagen, Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), pl. 51.

BRACELET

At a first glance, the design seems to be rather simple, but closer examination reveals sophisticated details. The unusually high settings become wider toward the top, giving the center a particular weight and rhythm. The flush setting—a method used to present the surface of the emeralds at exactly the same level as that of the broad rims of the gold boxes—not only creates visual harmony but also forecasts a technique that later became popular in the garnet jewelry of the Migration period. The dark green color of the emeralds, no doubt carefully chosen for this bracelet, is enhanced by the smooth color of the surrounding gold rim. In contrast, the hoop, with its relief surface, tiny globules, and small openings between the single elements, creates a glittering effect that seems to contradict the discreet elegance of the centerpiece.


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FIBULA WITH AN INTAGLIO OF NIKE ON A CHARIOT

This unique grand gem is mostly elliptical in form : all of the lines mirror this shape, including the contours ; the decorative friezes, both flat and in relief ; and the garnet intaglio that is set in the center. The back is mostly smooth except for a small patch on the upper left, where the gold has been bent back into shape from an ancient break ; even the mounts and latch for the pin, now missing, are ancient. The scheme of decoration is luxurious. The principal frieze, separated from the garnet by beaded wire surrounding a smooth border, consists of a large vegetal motif which elements appear to represent different species of plants ; it is divided into four parts by the circles that are arranged in a cross against the background. Within each quarter, the different elements—blade-shaped leaves, small groups and grapelike bunches of granulation, and large pieces of spiraled wire—are intertwined in a similar, but not identical, fashion. Toward the edge, the vegetal decoration is bordered by an openwork ribbon ornamented with beads at the intersections and by a series of cones with their tips topped with beads ; a beaded wire with added granulation is soldered onto the edge of the jewel. The scene carved on the intaglio represents Nike driving her racing chariot at full gallop. The young woman is dressed in a long chiton and holds a long whip, like a charioteer. This scene appears frequently in ancient art and is known in different forms and diverse media, including architectural sculpture, paintings, and glyptic art. The figure of Nike on her chariot, drawn by two horses, is a very popular subject in Roman glyptic art.

The large size, the elliptical shape, and the type of jewel suggest a close connection to Roman Imperial tastes, as proven by some fibulae from the Imperial Period. Judging from ancient iconography, such gems were used to fasten fabric on the shoulders or as a central element of a large necklace.

BIBLIOGRAPHY On Roman jewelry, see : L. Stefanelli and B. Pettinau, L’oro dei romani : gioielli di età imperiale (1992), p. 246, no. 114 ; pp. 251–52, no. 137. On the group of Etruscan rings, see M. Cristofani and M. Martelli, L’oro degli etruschi (1985), pp. 214–15, no. 225, esp. pp. 242–44, nos. 277–83. For the intaglio, see Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, vol. 6 (1992), s.v. Nike, pp. 850–904 ; for example, no. 694, p. 894. G. Chiesa Sena, Gemme del Museo Nazionale di Aquileia (1966), nos. 688–90, pl. XXXV.

FIBULA WITH AN INTAGLIO OF NIKE ON A CHARIOT

Roman, 1st – 2nd century A.D. Gold H. 6.8 cm, W. 8.1 cm


Phoenix Ancient Art 2007 ROMAN and GREEK GOLD  

In antiquity, gold jewelry was made and worn in order to display wealth and taste, thereby conveying the rank and status of the wearer. For...

Phoenix Ancient Art 2007 ROMAN and GREEK GOLD  

In antiquity, gold jewelry was made and worn in order to display wealth and taste, thereby conveying the rank and status of the wearer. For...

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