Selected Pieces Of Ancient Jewelry Presented By Christie’s Antiquities Department
A few items below, from the online sale “Ancient Jewelry: Wearable Art” presented by Christie’s Antiquities Department and featuring necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets from the ancient Mediterranean world, including ancient Greece, Italy, Egypt and the Near East, and ranging from the 3rd millennium B.C. through to the 1st millennium A.D.
1. Lot 3 A PAIR OF BYZANTINE GOLD, PEARL, ROCK CRYSTAL AND AMETHYST EARRINGS
Estimate : USD $20,000 – $30,000
These earrings look as fresh today as they must have looked almost 2000 years ago, in Byzantium in the 7th century AD. That’s one of the great things about antique and ancient jewels! They last. Unless you do something really terrible to them, they can be passed down through many generations, or hidden in a niche for centuries and discovered, intact. Below is a description of the earrings themselves, from the website of Christie’s “Ancient Jewelry: Wearable Art” sale.
Each composed of an eight-lobed rosette with a central circular setting set with a foiled-backed cabochon rock crystal, surrounded by a gold wire strung with pearls threaded through eight equidistant loops, with five gold hoops below, each supporting an amethysts or pearl drop, a high arching ear wire at the top. Each: 2 in. (5.1 cm.) high (text and image credit: Christie’s)
Art Market, London, prior to 1998.
2. Lot 20 A ROMAN GOLD AND GARNET FINGER RING
Estimate : USD $2,000 – $3,000
This glowing Roman finger ring was created sometime during the 2nd or 3rd century AD. I am always thrilled to see the craftsmanship employed in the making of jewelry such as this piece, and to know that skilled hands and creative minds were at work so long ago. The garnets are beautifully cut and polished into cabcochons; the cabcochons are bezel-set; and both filigree and granulation are used to embellish the gold. I would wear this beautiful ring in a heartbeat. Below is a description of the ring, from the website of Christie’s “Ancient Jewelry: Wearable Art” sale.
Formed from two hoops, each rounded on the exterior, concave on the interior, expanding to the bezel, with a collar-set cabochon garnet framed by spiral and plain wire filigree, with filigree volutes on the shoulders, the two hoops joined by a spiral filigree wire punctuated by granulation, and centered by a Herakles knot of beaded wire 5⁄8 in. (1.5 cm.) wide; ring size 3½. (text and image credit: Christie’s)
with Joseph G. Gerena, New York, 1999.
Two more pieces of ancient jewelry on the next page