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Gold necklace with lion-headed terminals


Length: 40.500 cm
Weight: 90.600 g

Castellani Collection

GR 1872.6-4.662 (Jewellery 1968)

Room 73: Greeks in Italy

    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.

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


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    On display: Room 73: Greeks in Italy

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    Mycenaean history, £14.99

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