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 and Beads
A very fine Greek Hellenistic high karat gold, garnet and coral beaded pendant. The pendant features an array of four beads, alternating coral beads and garnets, and is further embellished by two dolphins, modelled in a thin sheet of gold, one at each side of the suspension loop. Such pendants have been adapted from an earring in ancient times, with the suspension loop modelled from ancient gold. This beautiful item of jewellery testimonies the extreme quality of Greek Hellenistic goldsmith art.
Condition: Excellent condition.