Roman Gold Earrings set with Amphora Shaped Drops and Pearls
An extremely fine pair of Ancient Roman gold pendant earrings. Each earring is modelled in a boat shape, with the body’s width greatest at its bottom, embellished by a tear-drop shaped cabochon garnet inset, and a stylised amphora-shaped swinging dangle. The vessel-shaped pendants are further enriched by gold granules and any single natural pearl. Such earrings are a beautiful example of a more elaborate variant of the classical boat-shaped earrings type, a popular style in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire and across Near Easter civilisations. Similar boat shaped earrings, featuring either a plane design or a more elaborate one, have been excavated from Nabataean graves.
Circa 1st-4th Century ADProvenance:
Ex family collection, Israel, 1970-1999, with export license from Israel. Condition:
Some breakage on the side of both earring. Consult a professional jeweller for any alterations.
During The Roman Empire jewellery was a fundamental and essential social display of wealth. Following the spread of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in the designs and in the materials used. Semi-precious gemstones, such as garnet, together with pearls, were used to enrich and embellish earrings, rings and necklaces. Pearls especially were highly treasured by the Romans, worn as a public display of richness and prestige. Many Roman funerary portraits excavated in Egypt, show women of the high society wearing gold earrings with pearls.
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.