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Gold dress pin


Length: 13.200 cm
Weight: 880.000 g

Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations

GR 1897.4-1.104 (Jewellery 550)

Room 72: Ancient Cyprus

    Gold dress pin

    From tomb 19 at Enkomi, Cyprus
    About 1400-1300 BC

    Jewellery of a typically Cypriot design

    Gold became common in Cyprus the Late Bronze Age (1650-1050 BC) when it was imported from the east along with most other precious raw materials. Some finished products were imported from the east, Egypt and Mycenaean Greece, but more often these countries introduced techniques, types and decorative motifs. Dress pins were widely used in western Asia, but these had plain shafts. Like other Cypriot examples, this pin has a side ring, evidently for some sort of additional fastening. Decoration in the form of granulation (attaching tiny grains of metal to the surface) was learnt from Mycenaean Greece, but Cypriot innovations probably included the loop-in-loop chain. This was formed of gold wire twisted into loops. A double loop-in-loop chain, where each link passes through the previous two, was more common. It is of this type of chain that the upper part of the shank of this pin is formed. The pin terminates in a faience bead in the shape of a pomegranate, crowned by gold foliage.

    D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek gold: jewellery of the c (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

    V. Tatton-Brown, Ancient Cyprus, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)