Graeco-Roman earrings with gemstone
Pair of Graeco-Roman earrings with gemstone
Gold sheet and wire. Gemstones of red garnet. One earring with presumed original core, possibly bitumen.
Late 4th century BC to 3rd century AD,
Hellenistic to Roman Imperial period.
Matching pair of gold earrings. Each earring has a basic crescent shape created from a tube of gold sheet bent into a semicircle that tapers towards the ends and then extends to a gold wire clasp. At one end of the tube is an oval mount for a clear red gemstone. Both earrings probably had a core, possibly made of bitumen. It is still preserved in one earring.
The jewellery pieces do not show any production differences, they must have belonged together also originally. The design points to a Greaco-Roman goldsmith of the Eastern Mediterranean, probably Egypt or the Levant.
15mm wide, c. 14mm long.
Very good condition. One earring almost undeformed, the other earring deformed and dented on the body. Both specimens still include the original gemstones and filigree fastening wires. Matching couple.
Acquired by us on the German art market in 2020. Previously in the German private collection V. L. Acquired into it between 1925 and 1979 and located in Germany ever since. Parts of the collection were bought at the Swiss dealers Muenzen und Medaillen AG in Basel and Bank Leu in Zuerich.
For pieces with a similar hollow body but without the gemstone see
F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery Greek, Etruscan & Roman in the Departments of Antiquities British Museum, plate LIII, no. 2464.
British Museum, no. EA18249. A piece from Egypt.
B. Fay, Ancient Egyptian Jewelry, p. 42ff, acc. nos. VÄGM 91-86 and VÄGM 90-86.
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