Hellenistic Gold Eros Earrings


A pair of ancient Greek gold hoop earrings, formed from twisted wires and decorated with a naked Eros. Tiny wings grace his back, and a filigree body chain crosses his torso to form a Herakles Knot. The head of Eros boasts clear facial details and an elaborate coiffure, and a floral rosette sits above his head.

Date: 4th - 1st century BC
Provenance: Property of a London gentleman; acquired before 1995.
Condition: Extremely fine condition


SKU: AH-529 Category: Tags: , ,

‘Eros’ as a force of physical desire dates back at least as far as the works of Homer, but the concept of Eros quickly became more refined, being to the classical Greeks a personified deity of exceptional beauty and playfulness. Unlike the winged, infantile Cupid, Eros is more often depicted as an adult male wielding a more sinister power: Eros’ tricks were typically played on lovers, using his arrows to manipulate romantic situations between mortals and gods, and to punish those who resisted his efforts.

The Herakles Knot can be traced back to Egyptian times, although it was particularly popular in ancient Greece and Rome. It was used as a symbol of unity and protectiveness, being considered to ward off evil, and was often associated with marriage.

Weight 21 g
Dimensions W 2.5 cm


Greek Mythology