Ancient Greek Hellenistic Gold and Coral Dolphin Amphora Pendant


An extremely fine ancient Greek, Hellenistic gold pendant, featuring an amphora-shaped coral bead. The large coral bead forms the centre-point of the pendant and is further embellished by two dolphins, finely modelled in gold. The neck of the bead has been repaired horizontally and vertically. The dolphins act as non-fixed decorative handles to the amphora. They are rendered naturalistically with delicate engravings to indicate the fins and tails. A gold pin is presented through the centre of the bead, holding it in place, ending with a concave disc. Slightly above the disc is a small pearl partial encased by the base of the bead. A loop sits in between the dolphins used for suspension. This beautiful item of jewellery testifies the extreme quality of Greek Hellenistic goldsmith art.

Date: Circa 2nd-1st Century BC
Condition: Fine condition, minor repairs to the neck 0f the coral bead.

In stock

SKU: LD-593 Category: Tag:

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.

Weight 2.44 g
Dimensions L 2.5 x W 1.3 cm




Reference: For a similar amphora pendant,The British Museum, item 1904,0706.1

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