Fine Greek Gold Funerary Diadem


An extremely fine Ancient Greek  gold diadem fragment, hammered from a thin gold leaf. The piece has been decorated in repousse technique and features a series of palmettes alternated by bands of geometric patterns. This beautiful piece of ancient jewellery is sewn to a red backing that brings out the brightness of the metal.

Date: Circa 323-31 BC
Condition: Very fine condition with irregular edges. The dimensions given do not include the stand however the weight provided includes both the diadem and backing.


In Ancient Greece, as in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth, social status and privilege. There, however, this was not only true for the living but also for the dead as this diadem reminds us: it was not designed for everyday life as it is too thin and fragile. Rather, it was created for funeral purposes and decorated the forehead of a wealthy deceased. Greek tombs were rich in gold plaques as they could decorate not only bodies but also clothing and, in some specific case, help the soul to reach the after life. Indeed, believers in Orphism would be buried with plaques that featured engraved instructions, known as Totenpass in German, to make sure they would get the favours of the Queen of the underworld, Persephone, and therefore access to a good afterlife.

Weight 9.6 g
Dimensions L 17.2 x W 2.8 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Met Museum, Item 74.51.3535

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