Pair of Ancient Roman Gold Earrings with Bosses


A pair of Ancient Roman gold earrings featuring a large domed central boss above a group of three large gold granules. These granules are held together by a number of vertical rows of smaller granules. The two elements are connected by mirroring double spiral filigree. A large hoop finished with a hook-and-eye closure is applied to the back.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd century A.D.
Provenance: From a collection of a London lady, acquired annually during 1990s-2000s.
Condition: Very fine condition, slight chip to the back of one of the granules.

In stock

The ancient Romans considered jewellery to be an essential accessory, for it provided a public display of their wealth. Roman jewellery at first followed trends set by the Etruscans, using gold and glass beads, but as the power and spread of the Roman Empire increased, so too did jewellery designs became increasingly elaborate. Different cultural styles from Greece, Egypt, North Africa, and the Orient were all incorporated to reflect Rome’s prosperity as a dominant, conquering city. The wide range of natural resources enabled artisans to create ostentatious jewellery using a diverse selection of materials: this increasingly included sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, garnet and amber from India, and pearls (which were particularly prized). Archaeological finds of Roman jewellery are relatively rare, considering the magnitude of Roman civilisation, and the historical and geographical span of the Empire.

To find out more about decorative techniques of ancient jewellery, please see our relevant blog posts: Decorative Metalwork Techniques

Weight 6.59 g
Dimensions L 3.4 x W 1.9 cm



Reference: For a similar item, Christie's, 11th December 2003, Auction 1313, lot 418

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