Pair of earrings with lion heads

CULTURE:
Etruscan
DATE:
early 5th century BCE
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General Description

Hoop earrings are perhaps less spectacular than a bauletto earrings (1991.75.13.a-b) or ear studs (1991.75.20), but they had a long life in Etruria. These very small earrings consist of plain hoops with open ends. The inside of each is flat; the outside slightly curved. One end terminates in a lion's head; the other is semicircular.

The repoussé work of the lions' heads and manes suggests that these earrings may have originated in the same workshop as three late Archaic lion rings in the Dallas Museum of Art's collection (1991.75.26, 1991.75.25, 1991.75.24).

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), 36; 126.

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.