Large Ancient Greek Hellenistic Gold and Jasper Dolphin Amphora Pendant

£ 850.00

A fine Greek, Hellenistic, gold pendant in the shape of an amphora. It features a cylindrical neck leading to a biconical jasper body and a small gold granulated bead. The pendant is further embellished with two dolphins, finely modelled in gold, one at either side of the suspension loop, creating the handles of the amphora. The dolphins are rendered naturalistically with delicate engravings to the body, fins and tail. The eyes are represented by a small circular cell which possibly would have been set with a gemstone. The design is further enriched with a row of granulation curving down the back of the dolphins as well as around the perimeter of the eyes. A further loop has been added in antiquity to the top of the pendant for suspension. This beautiful item of jewellery testifies to the extreme quality of Greek Hellenistic goldsmith art.

Date: Circa 2nd-1st Century BC
Provenance: From a late Japanese specialist collector, 1970-2000s.
Condition: Good condition, repaired.

In stock

SKU: CY-103 Category: Tags: ,

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.

Weight 4.67 g
Dimensions L 3.4 x W 2.4 cm



Semi-Precious Stones

Reference: For a similar amphora pendant,The British Museum, item 1904,0706.1

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