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.
Greek Hellenistic Gold Pendant with Dolphins
A fine example of Greek Hellenistic goldsmith art, a beautiful high karat gold pendant, composed of a flat oval navy glass bead and a single decorated gold bead. The pendant is further enriched by two dolphins, modelled in a thin sheet of gold, one at each side of the suspension loop, with fine detailing to the fins and tail. The cylindrical gold bead which completes the pendant at the bottom is framed by two rows of fine granulation with a raised dotted decoration in relief at the centre. Such pendant has been adapted from an earring in ancient times, with the suspension loop modelled from ancient gold.
Condition: Very fine, suitable for modern wear with care.