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A GREEK GOLD MYRTLE WREATH
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION 
A GREEK GOLD MYRTLE WREATH

HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA 3RD-2ND CENTURY B.C.

Details
A GREEK GOLD MYRTLE WREATH
HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA 3RD-2ND CENTURY B.C.
Composed of four hinged gold bands, rounded on the exterior, flat on the interior, each decorated with long spear-shaped leaves with a central midrib, with fruit on delicate wire stems, each with a detailed filigree calyx, the terminals composed of beaded and twisted wire bands, row of tongues with twisted wire borders, three acanthus leaves with serrated edges and twisted wire borders, and two laurel leaves with beaded borders, with modern loops and an S-clasp closure
8¼ in. (21 cm.) diam.
Provenance
W.H. Forman collection, Pippbrook House, Surrey, thence by descent to his nephew Major A.H. Browne, Callaly Castle, Northumberland.
The Forman Collection of Antiquities and Objects of Art of the Renaissance; Sotheby Wilkinson & Hodge, 1899, lot 412. Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, Bt., Castle Craig, Scotland.
Catalogue of the Well-Known Collection of Works of Art of the Classic, Medieval and Renaissance Times, formed by Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, BART. of Castle Craig; Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 12 May 1902, lot 180, illus.
Hever Castle, England, prior to 1987.
The Property of a Nobleman; Christie's, London, 11 December 1987, lot 19.
Private collection, Switzerland.
Sale Room Notice
The provenance for this lot has now been confirmed as:
W.H. Forman collection, Pippbrook House, Surrey, thence by descent to his nephew Major A.H. Browne, Callaly Castle, Northumberland.
The Forman Collection of Antiquities and Objects of Art of the Renaissance; Sotheby Wilkinson & Hodge, 1899, lot 412.
Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, Bt., Castle Craig, Scotland.
Catalogue of the Well-Known Collection of Works of Art of the Classic, Medieval and Renaissance Times, formed by Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, BART. of Castle Craig; Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 12 May 1902, lot 180, illus.
Hever Castle, England, before 1987.
The Property of a Nobleman, Christie's, London, 11 December 1987, lot 19.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

Exhibited:
Victoria and Albert Museum, probably circa 1901.

For a gold diadem in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich, composed of similar hinged gold bands cf. B. Deppert-Lippitz, Griechischer Goldschmuck, Mainz, 1985, pl. XXVIII. For another in the British Museum, cf. F. J. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery: Greek, Etruscan and Roman, in the Department of Antiquities, London, 1969, pp. 170-171, no. 1609, pl. XXVII.

For a discussion on wreaths cf. D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold: Jewellery of the Classical World, London, 1994, pp. 35-36 where the author notes, 'The most elaborate items of jewellery were usually made for the adornment of the head...There were also gold wreaths (stephanoi). Examples of gold wreaths of oak, olive, ivy, vine, laurel and myrtle leaves are known from burials in Macedonia, South Italy, Asia Minor and the North Pontic area.'

Gold wreaths were frequently given as prizes for athletics and musical contests, bestowed by the State as a mark of honour. They were also used in religious processions, as funerary decorations and were popular dedicatory offerings made in temples.

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