Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Gold earring with a glass pendant in the shape of an African’s head

late 2nd–1st century B.C.
Greek, Eastern Mediterranean
Gold, glass; cast in a two-part mold
Other (Pendant): 7/8 x 7/16 x 1/2 in. (2.2 x 1.1 x 1.3 cm) Diameter (earing): 3/8 in. (1 cm)
Gold and Silver, Glass
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
Not on view
Deep cobalt blue or purple, appearing black.
Head of a youth with negroid features: tight curled hair, prominent forehead, deep-set eyes, pointed nose, full cheeks, parted lips, jutting chin, and long neck; elongated suspension loop projecting from top of head, pierced through sideways. Molded in a two-part mold with continuous seam running down sides of head and under neck.
Head complete but chipped on proper left side of head and neck; some pitting, but iridescent weathering covering most of head.
From Cyprus

Cesnola, Luigi Palma di. 1903. A Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Vol. 3, Plates & Text 1–150. pl. XVIII, 5, Boston: James R. Osgood and Company.

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 4030, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos. 1988. Blacks in Ancient Cypriot Art. no. 43, p. 47, Houston: Menil Foundation.

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