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A Hellenistic Gold, Garnet & Pearl Necklace, ca. 1st century BCE

GJ1703

A beautiful gold necklace with garnet, pearl, and glass elements. The centerpiece with three garnets set in round gold bezels with two hanging garnet beads, a fourth garnet set in a gold teardrop bezel hanging from the center, with a pearl below, the chain decorated with four garnet beads, four pearl beads, and eight blue glass spacer beads.

When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 331 BC, a new merge of cultures created new influences in jewelry and art for Greek artists. An increasingly affluent society demanded new luxurious objects, especially gold jewelry. After Alexander conquered the Persian empire and seized its treasures in Babylon, vast quantities of gold passed into circulation, creating an explosion of demand for gold jewelry. This gold jewelry was produced in wide variety: everything from earrings, necklaces, bracelets, armbands, and finger rings to pendants, pins, thigh bands, wreaths, and diadems were in demand.

Ref: Hemingway, Colette, and Seán Hemingway. “Hellenistic Jewelry.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-. April 2007.

Condition: Intact and in good condition overall.

Dimensions: length: 47 cm (18.5 inches)

Provenance: Private English collection acquired prior 2002, thereafter another English collection.


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