**Originally Listed At $800**
Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 4th century CE. In a word, head-turner! These gorgeous gold earrings comprised of 82% gold (equivalent of 18K+) and natural pearls are simply stunning. The design features a large gold hoop with an intricately composed dangler featuring a loop with a long extension around which gold wire is wound and adorned by granule clusters and pearls. The Romans actually invented the "hoop earring" which developed around 300 BCE. Hoop earrings on occasion were ornamented with fancy danglers as we see with these gorgeous works of wearable art. The hoop form of these earrings may represent an abstract coiling snake which symbolized immortality and was a popular Roman motif. Beautiful and wearable! Size: slightly longer earring measures 2.625" L x 1" (hoop) in diameter (6.7 cm x 2.5 cm); total weight: 5.4 grams
Before cultured pearls were created in the early 1900s, natural pearls were very rare and incredibly expensive. Hence, they were typically possessed only by noble and wealthy individuals. According to the NOVA program entitled The Perfect Pearl, "At the height of the Roman Empire, when pearl fever reached its peak, the historian Suetonius wrote that the Roman general Vitellius financed an entire military campaign by selling just one of his mother's pearl earrings." (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/history-pearls.html)
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Frances Artuner collection, Belgium, acquired in 1960’s
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
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Minor denting on the gold hoops. Danglers have curved a bit, but still fall quite elegantly. A couple of pearls and granule clusters missing from one of the earrings. These ancient earrings have been fitted with modern findings to make these earrings wearable.