Scythian Gold Ram Head Appliqué


A Scythian appliqué formed as the head of a ram, facing to the right. The repoussé technique was purposed for this gold sheet design. Detailing of the eyes, ear, mouth, and horns is clearly visible. The ram head has been melded to a gold cylindrical piece adorned with a ringed motif and smooth shape, presumably used to attach the mount to another item to wear upon clothing. Back remains unadorned.

Date: Circa 6th - 5th century BC
Condition: Very fine condition. Some wear to the edges.


Scythia was an area in central Eurasia, bordering the Black Sea and consisting largely 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 zoomorphic mount would have been affixed to garments of clothing as decoration. Such items normally would have been affixed in patterns, with multiple gold mounts on a single item of clothing. Gold was so integral to Scythian fashions that even their horses were richly decorated in gold ornamentation.The ram was associated with powerful divinities and heroic figures in the Near East, as leader of its flock it radiates strength and a sense of safety.

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

Weight 0.2 g
Dimensions L 1.3 x W 1.2 cm




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