Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Gold oak wreath with a bee and two cicadas. This wreath consists of two branches. At the back the stems have obliquely cut end-plates; at the front the two branches are held together with a split pin fastener that has a bee as its cap. The branches are made of sheet-gold tubes, over a modern copper core. Each branch has six sprays with eight leaves and seven or eight acorns, as well as a cicada. In addition, there are about a dozen single leaves set straight into each branch. The leaves are of three different sizes and are made in one piece with their stalks. The acorns are made in left and right die-formed halves; the cups are cross-hatched and there is a point on the top of the fruit. The cicadas are constructed from four separate sheets of gold - lower body, upper body, two wings.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 350BC-300BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 77 centimetres (circa, stem)
    • Weight: 276 grammes (as restored, inc. modern core)
    • Diameter: 23 centimetres (as restored)
    • Length: 2.1 centimetres (of bee)
  • Curator's comments

    Williams and Ogden 1994

    There is a modern Russian assay mark on the cut ends of one of the stems: it shows a head, the letter G and the number 94 (94 solotniks, that is about 97.9% gold).
    Perhaps the most famous oak wreath is that from the tomb at Vergina identified as that of Philip II. A second comes from the nearby Prince's tomb. A particularly fine example was discovered in a tumulus at Pergamon. The idea of indicating the cut through the stem by means of a decorated plate set at an angle can also be observed on an olive wreath from the Kekuvatsky kurgan (Hermitage Kek.1) and on one said to be from Asia Minor, now in Berlin.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: BMCJ 1628. For the Vergina wreaths see Vergina, figs 137 and 184. For Pergamon, tumulus 11, see AM 33 (1908), pp. 429-35, pl. 25, and Pfrommer, HK 62 with pl. 6, 1-3. For the bee cf. Greifenhagen 11, pl.1, olive wreath with cut stem plates. For the cicadas cf. Brooklyn, no. 4.


  • Bibliography

    • Jewellery 1628 bibliographic details
    • Williams & Ogden 1994 60; p. 106 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G22/dc3

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: Gold wreath


COMPASS Title: Gold wreath

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA9524

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