Hoop earring with the head of a maenad - ROM2018_16192_2


Hoop earring with the head of a maenad

Geography: Eastern Mediterranean
Date: about 300-200 BC
Period: Hellenistic period
Max. diameter: 3.55 cm
Object number: 918.5.30
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren
On view
Gallery Location:Gallery of Greece

The hoop is formed by of spirally twisted plain and and filigree wire wound around a central stem.  The terminal is in the form of the head  of a maenad with idealized features and wearing an ivy wreath and a taenia; two pairs of screw locks fall on either side of the face, covering the ears. Three beads are strung on the central stem between the head and the hoop. A clasp is formed by a small ring at the end of the hoop and a pair of rings soldered to the top of the head. 

The maenad's head is hollow. The workmanship is careful, with the features and hair modelled first in repousse, then chased. The popularity of hoop earrings with integrated finials begins in the fourth century BC and continues throughout the Hellenistic period and into the Early Roman. Maenads heads are not as common as lion's or bull's heads.


Roman World
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