Roman Britain, 2nd-4th centuries AD
From Colchester, Essex
Large carved pendants in jet and related black materials were worn around the neck, probably suspended on ribbons, cords or fine leather thongs. Though the material and workmanship is British (in Roman times as in more recent periods jet was obtained from Whitby on the Yorkshire coast), the subjects of such pendants are normally purely classical.
The cupids on this pendant may well be throwing a pot on a potter's wheel, but it is difficult to be certain. Scenes showing cupids as artisans and craftsmen, carrying out everyday tasks, are common in Roman art. Several other large jet pendants from Britain are carved with the image of the gorgon Medusa, another traditional classical subject.
C. Johns, The jewellery of Roman Britain (London, UCL Press, 1996)