Pair of Roman earrings from Syria

Object number
Object: Pair of Roman earrings from Syria

Material: Gold.

Period: 3rd century AD,
Late Roman Imperial period.

Description:    Matching pair of gold earrings. Each earring consists of a round shield with double spiral decorative wire and a row of gold beads on the convex side. Below is an artistically skillful pendant consisting of a double waist hollow cylinder, four hollow spheres, as well as stripes and appliqués made of gold beads.
On the back is the hook for wearing the respective earring. It consists of a wide band of five twisted wires merging into a single untwisted wire with a round profile. Its end is wound around a loop of wire which is soldered to the back of the round shield.
These are extremely ornate earrings with wonderful granulation. The design points to Syria. It is referred to by Hoffmann as a Roman-Syrian special form (see references).

Dimensions: 53mm long, 21mm wide. Approx. 15g weight of both earrings together.

Condition: Very good condition. Both earrings are almost completely preserved with only small deformations and dents on the shields. One earring missing some granulation. One of the brackets broken. Old sticker reading "469" on the back of one earring. Matching couple.

Provenance: 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.

References: An almost identical specimen, certainly from the same workshop, can be found in H. Hoffmann, V. von Claer, Antiker Gold- und Silberschmuck, p. 140.
Cf. also British Museum, museum no. 1914,1014.1. That specimen was found in Samsun, at the black sea coast of today's Turkey.
There was one specimen on the art market which must also once have come from the same workshop, Christie's New York auction 1313 "Ancient Jewelry" of 2003 December 11, lot 418, sold for 4200 USD (at that time approximately 5000 EUR).

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.