Central ornament of diadem or necklace

5th century BCE
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General Description

This Etruscan ornament consists of an oval box setting and two winged heads of portrait heads with African headdresses in repoussé relief and probably adorned a diadem or a necklace. The three elements are held together by elaborate hinges with fine moldings and hinge pins that terminate on both ends in hollow globules. The box setting, which holds a pale stone or paste, has a beaded edging of alternating hollow globules and circlets made of granules. Attached to the heads, on top, are elongated hollow tubes, which give the appearance of cylindrical crowns. Each tube is decorated with encircling plain and twisted wires and hollow half globules in two registers. At the ends of the tubes are tongues, each framed with a plain wire. Attached to each head, on either side of the crown, are large, sickle-shaped, repoussé wings with engraved feathers. The backs of the heads and wings are flat, while the tubes are fully in the round.

Adapted from

Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 131.

Fun Facts

  • Jewelry was far more than merely ornament to the Etruscans; it was often close to being a magic charm or amulet and implied the protection of the gods.