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Historic Jewelry: A Hyperlink to Vanished Civilizations



Antiquities specialist Hannah Solomon appears at a collection of gorgeous items that draw a direct line between historical cultures and the methods by which jewelry is made and worn as we speak

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‘I like that historical jewelry gives a window onto historical methods and gold work,’ says Antiquities specialist Hannah Solomon. ‘I additionally suppose it’s superb that you may see that kinds haven’t modified that a lot — earrings that will have been worn within the 4th century B.C. in Italy by the Etruscans are fairly just like how we put on earrings as we speak.’

The specialist goes on to take a look at some standout items from the Antiquities sale at Christie’s New York on 25 October. These embody a pair of Etruscan gold ear studs from the late sixth century B.C.

A pair of Etruscan gold ear studs. C. 530-500 BC. Every: 1¼ in (Three.Three cm) diameter. Estimate: $30,000-50,000. This lot is obtainable in Antiquities on 25 October 2016 at Christie’s in New York, Rockefeller Plaza

‘The Etruscans had been grasp gold staff,’ she explains, highlighting the tightly fitted beading (often known as granulation) and tiny wires (filigree) that are normal into spiral shapes. ‘These would have been worn by inserting them into the ear and placing a pin behind them, so it’s very a lot a contemporary composition and one thing we see as we speak with ear studs.’

Solomon additionally reveals us an beautiful Greek olive wreath normal from hammered and rolled sheet gold that dates from across the 4th century B.C. ‘Olive wreaths would have been used to crown the winners of contests. We don’t imagine that these had been worn. We predict that they had been ceremonial, maybe utilized in a funerary context.’ The truth that among the leaves on this wreath have been burned means that it was positioned on a funeral pyre.

A Greek gold olive wreath. Late classical interval to early hellenistic. 9½ in (24.1 cm) large. Estimate: $250,000-350,000. This lot is obtainable in Antiquities on 25 October 2016 at Christie’s in New York, Rockefeller Plaza

This Celtic gold torque from the 4th century B.C. is created from hammered sheet gold, however what makes it quintessentially Celtic are the variations in its design: Greek and Etruscan motifs resembling florals and palmettes have been created in raised aid and abstracted in order that they flip into faces with spiral eyes and elongated noses.

A Celtic gold torque. C. late 4th century BC. 7⅛ in (18 cm) large. Estimate: $120,000-180,000. This lot is obtainable in Antiquities on 25 October 2016 at Christie’s in New York, Rockefeller Plaza

Historic jewelry, Solomon suggests, is a superb approach to get entangled with antiquities. ‘There are such a lot of issues which might be onerous for us to know, be it faith, social construction or politics. However historical jewelry is kind of relatable.’

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