Greek Hellenistic Gold and Turquoise Glass Amphora Pendant with Dolphins

£ 550.00

A fine Greek Hellenistic, gold pendant in the shape of an amphora. This beautiful pendant features a slightly-facetted, drop-shaped, translucent turquoise glass bead for the body, with an affixed pearl bead underneath. The pendant is further enriched with the addition of two dolphins, finely modelled in gold, one at either side of the ribbed suspension loop, creating the handles of the amphora. Fine detailing has been added to the dolphin’s fins and tail. A further gold loop has been added in antiquity to the top. Such pendants may have been adapted from an earring in ancient times, with the suspension loop modelled from ancient gold. This beautiful item testifies to the extreme quality of Greek Hellenistic goldsmith art.

Date: Circa 4th - 3rd Century BC
Provenance: Acquired 1970-2010. Collection of a late Japanese gentleman.
Condition: Fine condition, some encrustations to the pearl.


Product Code: GS-104
Category: Tags: ,

As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and hierarchical status. In Ancient Greek culture jewellery was worn in everyday life but was also buried with the deceased 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. In Ancient Greek and Roman mythology dolphins were associated with the sea and with the sphere of sensual love, bearing an amatory symbolism. Because of the assonance between the ancient Greek word delphis, δελφίς, meaning dolphin, and the word delphus, δελφύς, meaning womb, dolphins were considered animals sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, fertility and desire.

To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.

Weight 2.86 g
Dimensions L 2.6 x W 1.2 cm





Southern Europe

Semi-Precious Stone