Pair of Achaemenid gold bracelets

€34,000
In stock
Object number
AR2611
Fantastic example of the gold jewellery of the first Persian Empire. Late 6th to 5th cent. BC.
Object: Pair of Achaemenid bracelets

Material: Solid gold.
An XRF analysis yielded a gold content of 87,8%, a silver content of 7,1% and a copper content of 4,4%. The total weight of both pieces together is 162g.

Period: 550 BC to 400 BC.
During the time of Achaemenid rule, the first Persian Empire.

Description:    Fantastic matching pair of bracelets made of solid gold. Each braclet has the shape of an open oval. The side opposed to the opening is bent inwards resulting in a kidney shape. The cross section is circular and slightly enlarged at the ends. The surface is covered in fine spiral ribs.
The kidney shape was typical for bracelets during the Achaemenid period. But this piece of jewellery is still asthetically pleasing and wearable when applying modern standards.

Background: In the 6th century BC the ancient Persian dynasty of the Achaemenids founded an empire which became the largest the world had seen so far. Their art developed during the conquests and additions as a mixture of styles. The gold jewellery and the wealth of the Persians has been legendary throughout classical antiquity. It is in this context the pair of bracelets at hand has to been recognized. The perfectly preserved relic exemplifies the glory of the first Persian empire, the empire of the Achaemenids. Alexander the Great finally brought an end to their rule with his conquest in 330 BC.

Dimensions: One braclet 86mm x 68mm outer diameter, 76mm x 55mm inner diameter. The other bracelet 89mm x 67mm outer diameter, 79mm x 55mm inner diameter. One bracelet is bent open slightly more than the other, probably the measures of the bracelets themselves are identical.
Total weight of both is 162g.

Condition: Absolutely perfect. It is a matching pair.

Provenance: Acquired by us in 2018 from the English art market. Coming from an English private collection. The piece has been offered by Chris Martin, Ancient & Oriental, London for a period (product code FR-024). It was probably acquired into the English private collection at Ariadne Galleries, New York. Previously the pair of bracelets has been with Christie's New York, Sale 2057, 9 December 2008, Ancient Jewelry, Lot 227. It was consigned from a North American private collection that was built in the 1970ies.
This object has been searched for in the database of ArtLoss, comprising more than 500.000 objects claimed stolen or lost. It also integrates the databases of Interpol and FBI.

References: Cf. Iranica Antiqua, vol. XLI (2006), F. Knauss, Ancient Persia and the Caucasus, page 85, figure 4.
A piece of similar workmanship from a preceding period can bei found in K. R. Maxwell-Hyslop, Western Asiatic Jewellery, page 215, no. 191.

Literature: M. Brosius, The Persians (2006).

Authenticity: We guarantee the authenticity of this object and all works of ancient art sold by us for life.