Greek Hellenistic Gold and Garnet Pendant Earrings


A pair of very fine Greek Hellenistic gold earrings in the shape of pseudo-amphorae. Each earring is composed of a hollow triangular body with each side featuring either an oval garnet or carnelian inset. Dangling from the base of the bodies are two pairs of delicate drops, one pair displays a small pearl and gold beads while the other pair has an additional bell pendant to the end. One of the drops has been replaced with a later wire. The top of each earring is composed of an amphora-like feature, with a short neck and a trio of delicate gold handles which connect the suspension loop to the main body. The earrings are attached to a single loop and hook later added in antiquity.

Date: Circa 5th-3rd century BC
Provenance: Ex Faustus Gallery and Jack Ogden, 1970-1980s
Condition: Very fine, suitable for modern wear with care. One drop on each earring is missing.


SKU: CS-262 Category:

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.

In Antiquity, garnet was very popular due to its deep colouration and for the meaning that was attributed to it. The word garnet originates from the Latin word granatus translating to seed or grain. In Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Hades gave pomegranate seeds to his lover Persephone, as a token of safety, while she was leaving the underworld to join her mother Demeter in the human world. The semi-precious stone, recalling the colour and the shape of the pomegranate seed, became a typical gift exchanged between separated lovers.

To discover more about the meanings of gemstones and semi-precious gemstones in Antiquity, please visit our relevant blog post: The History and Mythology of Gemstones in Ancient Jewellery.

Weight 15.6 g
Dimensions L 9.1 cm


Semi-Precious Stones

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