Ancient Greek Hellenistic Dolphin Agate Amphora Pendant


A fine gold Greek Hellenistic amphora pendant with dolphin handles. The pendant consists of an agate bead carved in the shape of an amphora. An amphora is a tall ancient Greek or Roman jug with two handles and a narrow neck. The agate bead has slight chips exposing the white colour underneath the beige surface. Two horizontal gold bands feature at the rim and shoulder of the amphora connected by the two gold dolphins. These dolphins act as the handles of the vessel. The pendant is further enriched with a cluster of gold granules at the base below the bead.A gold loop has been applied to the top for suspension. 


Date: Circa 2nd-1st Century BC
Condition: Excellent condition, slight chips to the agate, encrustation is visible to the surface.


SKU: XX-03 Category: Tags: ,

As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and richness. In Ancient Greek culture jewellery was worn in everyday life but was also buried with the deceased as part of his or her funerary outfit. Jewellery might have been enriched by precious and semi-precious stones and decorative motives would have included popular myths, gods, goddesses, and heroes. In Ancient Greek and Roman mythology dolphins were associated with the sea and with the sphere of sensual love, bearing an amatory symbolism. Because of the assonance between the ancient Greek word delphis, δελφίς, meaning dolphin, and the word delphus, δελφύς, meaning womb, dolphins were considered animals sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, fertility and desire.

To find out more about different metal decorative techniques please see our relevant blog post: Decorative Metalwork Techniques

Weight 2.4 g
Dimensions W 1.2 x H 3.0 cm




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