A PAIR OF ROMAN GOLD AND CARNELIAN INTAGLIO EARRINGS, CIRCA 3RD CENTURY A.D
Wearable. Some minor wear to the intaglios and edges of the gold as commensurate with age and use.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Burton Y. Berry (1905-1985), Zurich
Numismatic Art and Ancient Coins, Zurich, 1986
Christie’s, New York, Ancient Jewelry: Wearable Art, November 29th-December 6th, 2018, no. 54, illus.
Cameo-set earrings were a sought-after adornment for well-to-do women in Rome’s Eastern Empire. What is special about this pair is the use of deep red carnelian for the cameos rather than the far more usual banded onyx. Another refinement is the way in which mirror-images have been used for the cameos, to retain the symmetry of the earrings, in this case a female bust, perhaps intended as an Imperial portrait. The cameos are bordered by a band of undulating gold strip, characteristic of Roman times and known as ‘wavy ribbon’. The earrings were attached to the ear by means of simple wire hooks, one of which is missing its end, the other, perhaps broken off in antiquity, has been replaced in recent times with a modern piece of gold wire made in the ancient manner.