Pair of earrings

probably Achaemenid Persian
7th–6th century BCE
more object details

General Description

Chronologically and geographically, the term "Near Eastern jewelry" covers an enormous field. The three Near Eastern objects in the Moretti Collection of Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (see also 1991.75.98, 1991.75.99) date to the 1st millennium BCE These earrings are an excellent example of Achaemenid goldwork made in Persia or Asia Minor; both areas were part of the Achaemenid empire during the 5th and 4th centuries BCE.

Each earring is in the form of a circle, broken by an opening that contains a hinged catch. The circle is constructed from two sheets of gold of the same size. The sheets are held together by two small rectangular strips of sheet gold set between them, one forming the outer border, the other the inner one. The front and back of each earring are decorated with six applied quatrefoil rosettes, made separately in repoussé. Attached to the outer border are twelve pomegranates. Each is a hollow globule made from two halves and set on a cylindrical base. Another ring of sheet gold, cut to to form a bud with small outward-turned leaves, is attached to the top of the globule. A large pellet is set into the center of each bud. A small bar made of sheet gold is set into the open circle of each earring. Three loops attached to it support small hollow globules. A suspension hook, which serves as the ear wire, is made from square wire and hinged to the ends of the penannular hoop. On one side the original hinge pin is still in place; on the other it has been replaced by a modern wire.

Related pieces have been found in Sardes, the capital of Lydia, in western Asia Minor.

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), 119; 146.