DescriptionThe Metropolitan Museum’s earrings are based on an earring from Greece from the second century B.C. (now in the collection of The Walters Art Museum). While the original was gold embellished with agate beading, our adaptation is crafted of 14K gold over sterling silver and decorated with onyx beads.
Produced in cooperation with The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.
Sterling silver with 14K gold overlay, with onyx beads. Pierced, with sterling silver wires and 14K gold overlay. 1 5/8''L.
- Sterling silver with 14K gold overlay
- Onyx beads
- 1 5/8''L
- Sterling silver with 14K gold overlay wires
Art HistoryJewelry played an essential role in ancient Greek life, ritual, and death. Fashionable Greeks used jewelry to display wealth and prestige, with women wearing earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and finger rings, as well as the more extravagant wreaths, diadems, and breast pendants. Jewelry was offered as gifts to the gods at turning points in people’s lives, and was conspicuous in celebrations of marriage and birth. The deceased often were buried wearing favorite pieces, or funerary adornments might be made especially for entombment. While often colorfully enameled, classical Greek jewelry, unlike that of the Egyptians or Romans, tended to exclude gemstones. Though most surviving examples are of gold, less precious pieces in silver and bronze were probably more commonplace.