Scythian Gold Zoomorphic Appliqué


A Scythian sheet gold mount with a repoussé design of a bird. The appliqué features fully extended wings, a segmented, flaring tail, and visible hatching upon the body, indicating feathers. There are four loops to the reverse for attachment.The old collector’s label is also visible on the reverse; reading ‘86.63.2.’

Date: Circa 6th - 5th century BC
Provenance: From the Robin Symes Gallery Mayfair, pre 1999.
Condition: Excellent Condition


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 were 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.

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

Weight 1.1 g
Dimensions L 2.1 x W 2.3 cm




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