Roman Gold Earrings With Shield Bosses


A beautiful pair of Roman gold earrings with the so-called shield-bosses and pendants decorated with granulation. Each earring features a large oval boss, decorated with three wires emanating from the base, which twist into spirals with a small central granule. From the earring’s main hoop hangs a grape-like cluster of larger hollow gold beads, each of which is decorated with pyramidal granulation. The hoop is made from double twisted wires, which have been joined together, and each earring terminates in a closed-end fastening. These fine earrings are suitable for modern wear with modern hook or stud applied – please consult a professional jeweller for any alterations.

Date: 1st – 3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine condition, shield bosses have become slightly misshapen over time.


SKU: OB-08 Category: Tags: ,

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.

Weight 9 g
Dimensions L 4.9 cm



Reference: Ruseva-Slokoska, L. Roman Jewellery, Sofia, 1991, item 33. Christie’s sale 1313, lot 418. The Metropolitan Museum