Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Earring with head of a bull

Period:
Ptolemaic Period
Date:
2nd–1st century B.C.
Geography:
Probably from Egypt
Medium:
gold
Dimensions:
As Worn: H. 3.4 × W. 3.3 cm (1 5/16 × 1 5/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Accession Number:
30.8.399
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
Hoops formed of wound wire with animal head terminals are the commonest type of Hellenistic earring. The bull-head earring appears throughout the Mediterranean, probably a positive image because of the physical and sexual prowess attributed to bulls.

Examples like this one with a gold or stone bead incorporated into the collar behind the animal's head date mostly to the second and first centuries B.C.
Formerly Theodore M. Davis Collection. Bequeathed to the Museum by Davis, 1915; accessioned, 1930.

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