Lot 537: Greek Gold and Garnet Earrings
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Eastern Greek, 4th century BC. A pair of gold earrings with wire hook to the back, main plate formed as a rosette with six pointed star in the centre, entire surface of both with granulated beads of gold, and with a garnet bead to the centre; to the sides four groups of three teardrop-shaped garnets with flower shaped on stems between and with garnet bead to the centre; suspended below a wide bodied vase set with teardrop-shaped garnets and with granulation and filigree pattern on surface, below a group of five gold beads with granulated ends; to the sides two rosettes set with garnets and three plaited chains with garnet beads to the ends. 37 grams total, 85mm (3 1/2"). From a European collection; formerly in an old Oriental collection; acquired 1960. Accompanied by a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate. With the Greek expansion East, especially into the Black sea region, new cultures and art styles were experienced which had an effect on the Greek settlers, as well as the impact of Greek culture on the native peoples of these areas, such as the Scythians. With the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great, and the establishment of the Hellenistic kingdoms in the East, more opportunities were opened up for extensive trade routes and an influx of luxury items to the West. The kingdom on the Eastern shores of the Black Sea, known as Colchis, was famous for its wealth in gold and legends such as the Golden Fleece grew up based on the fabulous riches of this area. milesian Greeks settled the area in the sixth century BC and soon established themselves as wealthy trading oligarchies. Many of the gold items that were created by Greek craftsmen were exported to other Greek colonies across the Mediterranean as luxury items, but were also valued by the Scythians as prestige items. These were worn by the elite leaders of the tribes, as well as their families, as a means of displaying their wealth and power. 
Condition Report: Extremely fine condition.