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€  14 500
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Ancient Scythian yellow gold granulated earring - artefact

Being crafted between 24 and 27 centuries ago, this ear pendant in a high gold alloy still exhibits the very essence of what a jewel should be: a vessel of culture. While wearing this precious piece, it doesn't take long before you drift off to dreams about the journeys of its timetravels into the 21st century.

From an ancient goldsmith's design into a tangible gold form, constructed out of a repetition of the smallest granules into a triangle pattern in the ancient Scythian style of the Caucasian region. Specially crafted to be worn by the greatest of its era and long after, envision to where this remarkable jewel -worthy of a showroom in a museum- could lead you when you would let it adorn you.

Country of origin
Caucasus

Style
Scythian

Period
Between the 4th Century and 7th Century BCE

Material
Yellow gold, at least 18K

Technique
Granulation: Granulation is a technique where the goldsmith uses very small balls (granules) of metal, which are not soldered to the piece but welded. This technique demands very high skills and precision from the maker. Today, with all modern techniques, it's still very difficult to match the quality of the craftsmanship that constructed this earring so many years ago.

Extra information on the unique character of this item
Up until now, we've only come across one similar ear pendant, which is in the collection of the Schmuckmuseum in Pforzheim (museum of jewelry in Pforzheim, Germany - inventory number 1957/4). Check out the pictures for the museum's inventory page of their collection piece.

Extra information on Scythian jewellery art in regards to this item
Scythians are known to have worn large jewellery pieces, as appears from their excavated burial sights. As nomadic people, they interacted with the Greek and Middle Eastern cultures, which are known for their elaborate jewellery craft.
Earrings found in Scythian burials fall into a limited number of types and appear to reflect the gradual assimilation of foreign traditions of personal adornment.
Nevertheless, the simple triangular shapes, often including hollow hammered gold volumes with smooth surfaces in contrast with granulated structures, terminating in a rosette of spheres are a true reflection of the Scythian style more than any other surrounding culture in that period.

Condition
Exceptionally outstanding condition, especially regarding its age. (click here for our condition scale)
The hook and main ornament are slightly bent and there are some dents here and there, which is to be expected of a jewel that withstood the test of more than 2400 years. As experts, we even consider it a miracle that this piece still exists at all, which elevates this jewel to the level of artefact.
When the earring was offered to us, it had a fissure in the top part, which put it to risk of falling apart. Therefore, we had it repaired with the most advanced equipment, namely a laser. This way, we could prevent having to heat up the entire piece, which the antique goldsmithing technique would have required to complete the repair. This heating process according to the original method would have affected the patine, which is the colour of the piece built up over the years and showing its age.
The repair is very hard to spot as most people only see it after being told. Thanks to this small intervention, we've reassured the earring's existence -hopefully- for centuries to come. Besides that detail, the condition of the earring remains original.

Hallmarks
No trace

Weight
8.20 gram (5.27 dwt)

Dimensions
Length approx. 7.00 cm (2.76 inch)

When referring to this piece
Mention the following number: 02157-3022 or click here.


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Ancient Scythian yellow gold granulated earring - artefact
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