As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and richness. Following the spread of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in the designs and in the materials used, such as precious and semi-precious gemstones. Garnet was favoured in Antiquity due to its deep colouration and for the meaning that was attributed to it. In Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Hades gave pomegranate seeds to his lover Persephone, as a token of safety, while she was leaving the underworld to join her mother Demeter in the human world. The semi-precious stone, recalling the colour and the shape of the pomegranate seed, became a typical gift exchanged between separated lovers.
Ancient Roman Gold Pendant with Garnet
A finely detailed Ancient Roman bell-shaped pendant, modelled from a thin layer of gold. The pendant features a modern suspension loop to the top, and drops of gold wires, each terminating in a gold granule. The bell-shaped body appears decorated with three tear-shaped cabochon garnet insets, alternating by bands of delicate gold granules. The pendant might have originally been part of a necklace or an earring. Earrings featuring bell-shaped pendants have been recovered from Parthian graves, dated to first centuries AD.
Condition: Extremely fine condition. Complete and intact.