Lot 535: Greek Gold Filigree Ring with Lion Terminals
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Late 4th century BC. A quality gold ring comprising: a hoop formed from two broad and one narrow spiral-wound filigree rods, with beaded wire collars and lion-head terminals to the shoulders; drum-shaped plaque with beaded wire collars to the side wall and filigree guilloche, domed upper face with filigree border and rosettes, central granule; to the reverse, incised lambda (?"). Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate. 8.94 grams, 26mm overall, 17.89mm internal diameter (approximate size British O 1/2, USA 7 1/2, Europe 16.0, Japan 15) (1"). Property of a London gentleman; formerly in the George Lamber collection before 1978. Accompanied by a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate. Lion heads form the most common decorative elements in jewellery from this time and are found on earrings and bracelets too. The popularity of the lion head as a decorative element of jewellery seems to have first appeared in the Greek East and may be associated with the worship of the goddess Cybele. This goddess, who originated in ancient Anatolia, was extremely popular and had her cult centre at Pessinus in Asia Minor. Her primary image at the temple was a block of stone, believed to be a meteorite, but when shown anthropomorphically she was represented as a matronly figure wearing a crown and accompanied by two lions. Her worship would go on to be one of the many mystery religions that were popular in the Greek and Roman worlds where she was considered to be the Mother of the Gods, and her worship would spread as far as Britain.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.