A very fine ancient Greek, Hellenistic gold pendant featuring a bird-shaped body composed of two sheets of gold. The repoussé feathers cover the gold bead, allowing an attractive interplay of light across the surface. A circular bezel, that formerly contained dark red glass, decorates one side of the pendant. The piece is further enriched with two dangling elements: one featuring a double-granulated gold bead above a grey-tone pearl, the other a granulated gold bead and an oblong polished garnet. A ribbed loop has been added at the top for suspension. A marvellous example of the high skilled gold smithery in ancient Greece during the Hellenistic period.
Date: 5th-3rd century BC Provenance: Acquired 1970-2010. Collection of a late Japanese gentleman. Condition: Very fine condition. The glass bead decorating the centre of the bird is partly missing
As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and richness. In Ancient Greek culture, jewellery was worn in everyday life but was also buried with the decease as part of his or her funerary outfit. Jewellery might have been enriched by precious and semi-precious stones and decorative motives would have included popular myths, gods, goddesses, and heroes. Jewellery such as this beautiful miniature pendant was crafted and intended for everyday use, instead of being destined exclusively to a funerary purpose.
To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.