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 very fine Geek Hellenistic gold pendant in the shape of an amphora, composed of a conical flat foot, holding the bead in place, and a suspension loop at the top. It’s body is formed from a carved coral bead and the pendant is further embellished by two dolphins, finely modelled in gold, one at each side of the suspension loop to create decorative handles. This beautiful item of jewellery testifies the extreme quality of Greek Hellenistic goldsmith art.
Condition: Fine condition with minor inclusion on the upper part of the bead.