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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > Roman Gold Earring with Medusa Cameo

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LOT 0126

Estimate
GBP (£) 600 - 800
EUR (€) 660 - 880
USD ($) 780 - 1,040

Opening Bid
£540 (EUR 595; USD 700) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Roman Gold Earring with Medusa Cameo

Early 3rd century AD

A gold earring comprising a discoid setting and a series of pierced arches with extensions between, joined by a series of granulated beads to pierced scrollwork bar below; three articulated dangles with circular settings, stem and twisted terminal; carved bone cameo modelling a Medusa mask; loop to the reverse. 3.64 grams, 33mm (1 1/4"). Fine condition.

Provenance
Property of a London gentleman; formerly in the private collection of an English lady previously living in Oxford; acquired on the UK art market from the mid 1980s.
Literature
See Zouhdi, B., 'Les influences rèciproques entre l'Occident d'après les bijoux du Musèe Nationale de Damas', in AA Syr. XXI, 1971; Henig, M., The Content Family Collection of Ancient Cameos, Oxford, 1990; Ruseva-Slokovska L., Roman Jewellery, a collection of the National Archaeological Museum-Sofia, Sofia, 1991.
Footnotes
The application of glyptics and more specifically of cameos to earrings and other jewellery permeated the Hellenistic world after the military campaigns of Alexander the Great in India. Their extensive popularity in the Roman Eastern Provinces, like Moesia and Thracia, is attested by many specimens belonging to different types of jewellery (Zouhdi, 1971, p.98). The image of Medusa appears frequently in Roman glyptics in a number of medallions, rings and earrings (Ruseva-Slokoska, 1991, p.53, cat.127); also a similar cameo in Henig, 1990, pl.XXV, cat.157,159.