Scythian Gold Boar Appliqué


A very fine Scythian gold sheet appliqué depicting a quadruped animal, possibly a boar or a dog. Presented in profile with distinct features including an etched hairy coat, pointed expressive ears and an alert face. Upon the reverse sit six loop attachments for easy wear. The old collector’s label is visible on the back, reading ‘86.54.1.’

Date: Circa 6th - 5th century BC
Provenance: From the Robin Symes Gallery Mayfair, pre 1999.
Condition: Very fine condition. Some wear to the edges.


Scythia was an area in central Eurasia, which bordered the Black Sea and largely consisted of nomadic tribes. Scythian art was primarily decorative in its nature, termed ‘animal style’, standardized techniques were used to produce a set group of animal depictions with stylized and exaggerated features.  The animals represented fit into three categories of bird, ungulate and predator, all of which are associated with the three levels of the world – the heavens, the earth and hell. Additionally, Scythians were famed for their jewellery, which was highly ornate and carefully crafted.

This gold mount would have been affixed to garments as decoration, usually as part of a pattern, with multiple gold mounts on a single item of clothing. So integral was gold to Scythian fashions that even horses were richly decorated in gold ornamentation.

To discover more about Scythian culture, please visit our relevant blog post: Scythian Gold.

Weight 1.8 g
Dimensions L 3.5 x W 2.5 cm




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