Gold necklace with lion-headed terminals

Greek, around 300 BC
Said to have been found at Capua in Campania, Italy; probably from Taranto, Italy

A magnificent necklace

This magnificent lion-head necklace is said to have been found at Capua in Campania with a pair of matching lion-head earrings. The lion heads are of sheet gold and were made in two halves (left and right). There is additional chasing (freehand working that displaces or dents the gold, rather than cuts into it) especially on the muzzles and ruffs. The eyes are inlaid with blue enamel (glass paste). The collars behind the heads are decorated with filigree wire florals. The chain is massive but employs simple loop-in-loop units of beaded wire. 

A number of examples of earrings employing this type of lion head have been found and it is likely that they and this necklace were all produced in one workshop in Taranto at the end of the fourth century BC.

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More information


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


Length: 40.500 cm
Weight: 90.600 g

Museum number

GR 1872.6-4.662 (Jewellery 1968)


Castellani Collection


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