Late Hellenistic-Early Roman Gold & Semi-Precious Stone Necklace
A stunning, restrung necklace featuring discoid semi-precious stones and gold domed appliqués. The necklace features a double strand of Roman, spherical blue glass beads, varying in hues and tones. To the top of each strand is a single domes applique, followed by the smallest of gold discoid plaques, set with a deep garnet polished stone to the left and a vibrant green aventurine stone to the right. A double domed appliqué follows each small plaque, preceded by a larger discoid set with crystal on the left and pale amethyst to the right. Another set of double-dome appliqués follow, leading to a central and prominent chalcedony set discoid. The necklace has been modernised with a gold-plated, S-shaped clasp for wear.
Circa 2nd Century BC -1st Century ADProvenance:
UK art market, acquired prior to 2000.Condition:
Very good: restrung with modern clasp.
Jewellery was a status symbol in ancient Greece and Rome and those of the highest social classes favoured necklaces enriched with gold and precious stones. The ancient Greeks were renowned for their gemstone work, using a variety of stones to add colour and originality to jewellery. Garnets, amethyst, emeralds, crystal and lapis lazuli were all used within Greek jewellery. Craftsmen would either cut and polish the stones, creating a smooth surface for carving or the gemstone was left rough after cutting. The Hellenistic period favoured elaborate gold pieces, utilising the decorative techniques of granulation and filligree work. A shift was then seen with the inclusion of gemstones, which continued into the Roman period.
To discover more about gemstones in Antiquity, please visit our relevant blog post: The History and Mythology of Jewellery in Antiquity.