MATCHING SET OF GOLD ROMAN SHIELD EARRINGS
Measurements: height – 3.7 cm, width – 1.2 cm
Description: A matching pair of Roman gold earrings: oval hoop, closed-end fastened; decorated with a central shield-shaped plate framed with beaded wire, a small gold bead in the centre framed by beaded wire as well, for a rosette – like appearance. Each has a gold cylindrical pendant ending in a grape-shape ornament. Striking or pressing the wire between dies on which the required pattern was engraved makes beaded wire we can observe on this piece. Using plain or beaded wire in various shapes for decorating jewellery is the basis of filigree technique. Forming decorative motifs by connecting small golden beads on a piece of jewellery is a technique called granulation and it was used for the grape pendants on these earrings. The main centres for jewellery production in the Roman Empire were Alexandria, Antioch, Palmyra and Rome. Most goldsmiths in these centres were of Eastern origin.
Provenance: Maillard collection, Wiltshire.
Reference: Ruseva – Slokoska, Lj., Roman jewellery, 1991, nos. 33, 34.
Period: 3rd cent. AD
Condition: Very fine, with some encrustations.