As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and hierarchical status. 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.
Greek Hellenistic Gold Amphora Dolphin Pendant
A fine Greek Hellenistic high karat gold pendant in the shape of an amphora, composed of an oval cream with dark speckles agate stone and a single decorated gold bead. The pendant is further enriched with two dolphins, modelled in a thin sheet of gold, one at either side of the suspension loop creating the handles of the amphora. Fine detailing has been added to the dolphins including the fins and tail. The cylindrical gold bead which completes the pendant, holding the stone in place, ends with a gold dome shape. Such pendant has been adapted from an earring in ancient times, with the suspension loop modelled from ancient gold.
Condition: Very fine condition