Ancient Greek Hellenistic Gold and Coral Dolphin Amphora Pendant


A fine gold Greek Hellenistic amphora pendant. The pendant consists of a large vibrant coral bead carved in an ovoid shape with two incised horizontal bands which is encompassed by gold at either end. The gold sheets have been moulded to emphasise the shape of a Greek amphora. The bottom has been shaped to have a small stand which flares out to a conical base. On top of the coral is a gold sheet moulded into the neck and rim of the amphora with two dolphins on either sides representing the handles. Two gold loops have been applied to the top for suspension. 

Date: Circa 2nd-1st Century BC
Condition: Very fine condition, slight chip to upper gold, encrustation visible to the surface. Suitable for modern wear.


SKU: RH-33 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 3.5 g
Dimensions L 3 x W 1.3 cm



Reference: For a similar item demonstrating the dolphins and amphora: The British Museum, London, item 1904-0706-1