Pair of Ancient Roman Gold Earrings

£ 225.00

A pair of Ancient Roman gold hoop earrings, featuring a circular loop with the ends finely twisted to hold the earrings closed. Each earring features a convex discus attached to the top of the hoop and a pyramidal cluster of granules decorating the bottom. Hoop earrings were a staple and favourite piece of jewellery amongst the Roman aristocracy.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD
Provenance: Acquired 1970-2010. Collection of a late Japanese gentlemen
Condition: Good Condition, one of the discus is slightly misshapen due to age.


SKU: MJ-02 Category: Tag:

Ancient Roman jewellery was an essential public display of wealth. Roman jewellery at first followed the trends set be the Etruscans. As the Roman empire grew, jewellery designs and materials became even more elaborate, incorporating different cultural styles from Greece, Egypt, North Africa and the East. Earrings such as this fine example, would have been worn by straightening the pointed, gold wire through the pierced ear and then twisting it so that the earring would not open again.

Granulation (from the Latin ‘granum’ meaning ‘grain’) was the technique used by Roman jewellers to create the miniature gold spheres which adorn the hoops. It involved making tiny gold granules and then attaching them individually to the base piece. The oldest known examples made with this process date back to 2500BC and were found in the tombs of Ur, in Mesopotamia. From there, the technique spread through Syria and reached its peak with the Etruscans in the 7th-6th centuries BC.

To find out more about different metal decorative techniques please see our relevant blog post: Decorative Metalwork Techniques


Weight 1.15 g
Dimensions W 1.1 x H 1.3 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, item 74.51.3718

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