Stamped gold plaque with granulated lines

CULTURE:
Etruscan
DATE:
c. 630 BCE
more object details

General Description

Stamped into a thin gold plaque is the frontal image of an Etruscan goddess with a human head, open wings, and a bird's tail spread out like a palmette. The large stylized wings partially encircle stylized lions' heads, which are linked across the goddess's body by a rectangular band decorated with a granulated guilloche ("rope") pattern. All the details are delineated in granulation. The granules are extremely fine and are irregularly applied in places. Above the goddess, three bosses are covered with floral decoration; the petals are made of small strips of gold, slightly concave in the center and curled under at both ends. Four pierced holes between and flanking the bosses allowed the plaque to be worn as a dress or belt ornament. The edges are bent back because the plaque was once mounted on a bronze sheet.

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), 35; 126-7.

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.