• Antiquities auction at Christies

    Sale 5952

    Antiquities

    27 October 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 120

    A PAIR OF GREEK GOLD ROSETTE ORNAMENTS

    4TH CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF GREEK GOLD ROSETTE ORNAMENTS
    4TH CENTURY B.C.
    Each disc rosette-shaped with, in its centre, a large tiered flower resembling a star-burst with ten pointed petals, a smaller central disc with conjoined spiral filigree ornament and a tall pointed grain in the centre, the four elements joined by a tubular pin which projects at the back and is splayed into four strips to keep it in place, the back of the rosette disc with cylindrical gold tube into which fits the cylinder of the back stud, the concave disc of the back stud with rosette within beaded circle, the border with egg and dart pattern
    Both 1 5/8 in. (4.3 cm.) diam. (2)


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    This highly important pair of Greek gold rosette ornaments are unique in design and exceptional in being so finely preserved and retaining both their back attachment rosette studs. The ornaments are of the highest quality, evidently produced by a master goldsmith in the 4th Century B.C.

    Gold ornaments of this type are known principally from sites in Asia Minor and Cyprus, but also occur elsewhere in areas influenced by Greek fashion, taste and culture including South Italy, Thrace, Pontus and Egypt.

    For ornaments of a similar design, cf. the 4th Century B.C. Kyme treasure in the British Museum, published in D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold, Jewellery of the Classical World, British Museum, London, 1994, p. 98, nos. 51-52; no. 51 is a single gold ornament with back stud, no. 52 is a pair with only one back stud remaining. Both these examples have similar circular pan-shaped discs unlike the sculptural rosettes in the above instance. Also, cf. B. Deppert-Lippitz, Griechischer Goldschmuck, Mainz am Rhein, 1985, p. 186, pl. 132 for a pair of studs from South Italy, and p. 187, pl. 133 for a pair of studs in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, with circular discs and central rosettes. A set of gold jewellery from a 4th Century B.C. Thracian treasure now in the Archaeological Museum, Sofia, contains a large rosette-shaped tiered ornament with similarly pointed petals, cf. exhibition catalogue, Thracian Treasures from Bulgaria, British Museum, London, 1976, p. 61, no. 265.

    Special Notice

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    Provenance

    Collection of Victor Adda (1885-1965), acquired in the early 20th Century; and thence by descent to the present owner.