• Ancient Jewelry auction at Christies

    Sale 2770

    Ancient Jewelry

    5 December 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 364

    A SCYTHIAN GOLD TORQUE

    CIRCA 5TH CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    A SCYTHIAN GOLD TORQUE
    CIRCA 5TH CENTURY B.C.
    Of massive proportions, formed from a solid rod, circular in section, tapering slightly towards the terminals, each hammered flat and joined at the broad end, the outer face of each ornamented with three long tongue-shaped petals outlined by two deep grooves
    15 in. (38.1 cm.) wide; 2314.5 gr. (81.64 oz.)


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    Scythian gold torques take many forms, ranging from simple pennanular rings to elaborate spiral hoops ornamented along their lengths and finished with animal-form terminals (for a pennanular torque see no. 226, no. 9a in Parzinger, et al., Im Zeichen Des Goldenen Greifen: Königsgräber Der Skythen; for an elaborate one see p. 263, no. 2a). The massive scale of the present example suggests that it was not designed to be worn, and so more likely served as a votive offering to a deity. The quantity of the gold required for this torque indicates the high status of its ancient owner. The form but not the scale is exactly matched by the torque with plain terminals from the hoard of Scythian gold found at Vettersfelde in Germany in 1882 (see p. 324, no. 6 in Parzinger, op. cit.).

    Provenance

    Acquired by the grandfather of the current owner, Nevada, 1927; thence by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A NEVADA PRIVATE COLLECTION