Northern Italy, Etruscan, ca. 4th to early 3rd century BCE. This is a gorgeous Hellenistic era 91.5% (equivalent to 21K+) gold funerary diadem in the form of a laurel wreath. The wide panel is hammered flat into an oblong band then embossed on the tips with spirals. Over 40 leaf shaped sheets are cut and applied along the panel as foliage, each with three repousse lines as veins down the center. The two clusters of leaves are separated by a central rosette. A circular boss in the center is surrounded by round petals. The tips of the band are pierced, likely for a ribbon to secure to the wearer's head. This is an everlasting wreath that will never wither and is absolutely stunning. This piece is professionally mounted on a yellow velvet stand within an acrylic case and is ready to be displayed. Size of wreath: 11.65" L x 3.5" W (29.6 cm x 8.9 cm); case: 14" L x 5.25" W x 4.25" H (35.6 cm x 13.3 cm x 10.8 cm); gold quality: 91.5% (equivalent 21K+)
Not many crown wreaths survive, often plundered for their beauty and gold value; this is a fabulously preserved example! Gold wreaths were worn for ritual and ceremony by the elite and royalty, and often awarded to champions and victors in sporting events. The wreathes that were worn for festivals and events were often a thicker construction. This thin panel with many attached leaves indicates it was more likely used specifically for burial to accompany a special person to the afterlife. For another similar example, see Sotheby's, London, June 13, 2016 - lot 16 with a hammer price of 27500 British Pounds.
For a perfect comparison, please see the Metropolitan Museum of Art website, accession number: 95.15.251
This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.
Provenance: ex- private collection of Celeste Huston, gifted from her ex-husband, John Huston, Hollywood, California, USA, before 1977. Until his death in 1987 Mr. Huston was among the Hollywood elite as both an accomplished Actor and Director.
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Tearing, creasing, and bending to leaves and band panel. Perforations and indentations to rosette, main panel, and several leaves. A small piece of clear tape supports two leaves on the right side. Mineral and earthen deposits throughout. Mounted, probably dating to the 1950's, using modern threads to secure the piece to a cloth stand in an acrylic case. Due to mounting, this piece cannot be weighed.