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Earrings

  • Place of origin:

    Greece (made)

  • Date:

    200 BC-100 BC (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold, garnet

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr John George Joicey

  • Museum number:

    M.301&A-1919

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 2, shelf C, box 15 []

The bull-heads are formed in embossed sheet gold halves (left and right) and are carefully detailled. The collars are decorated with grains and filigree. The hoop is formed of plain wires, coiling around an inner gold tube, all hammered into a single wire at the point. The loop in the bull's mouth close the hoop.

Representations of women wearing similar earrings on terracottas and bronze mirrors suggest that most of these earrings were worn with the head at the front but upside-down.

Lion-head earrings are the earliest type in the long series of animal-head hoop earrings including bulls, goats, antelopes, rams. They seem to have been first developped in Etruria (Italy) but have been found in most parts of the Greek World. The garnet set on the bull's forehead suggests that the earrings were made during the hellenistic period, when colour played an important part in jewellery.

Physical description

Pair of gold earrings. Each earring is hollow, ending in a bull-head set with a garnet.

Place of Origin

Greece (made)

Date

200 BC-100 BC (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold, garnet

Dimensions

Depth: 1.2 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of earrings with the head of a bull; Greek world, about 200-100 BC; embossed shette gold, with filigree, granulation and garnet

Production Note

Greek world

Materials

Gold

Subjects depicted

Bull

Categories

Jewellery; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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