Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of gold earrings with an Egyptian Atef crown set with stones and glass

3rd–2nd century B.C.
Gold with stone and glass
Overall: 5/8 x 2 3/4 in. (1.6 x 7 cm)
Gold and Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of Christos G. Bastis, in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.539.11a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 158
During the Ptolemaic reign of Egypt (323-31 B.C.), Egyptian motifs were fashionable in Greek jewelry and were sometimes reproduced faithfully or were more freely adapted as in these fine earrings. The upper element, embodying the hook, features an Egyptianizing crown composed of a sun-disk in a translucent stone surmounted by twin feathers rendered with opaque black and white glass. All settings are trimmed with gold beading. Satellite glass beads (red and white on one earring, red and green on the other) are wired below. A triangular sheet ornamented with granules partially conceals the hinge holding the pendant.
Beneath the crown is a heart-shaped pendant with a red stone in the center, bordered by a band of black and white glass arranged in a saw-tooth design and set in gold cloisons edged with beading. Two glass beads are wired below, while a third, now missing, was secured between reel- and cone-shaped moldings at the bottom. Gold sheeting backs all the settings.
von Bothmer, Dietrich, Bernard V. Bothmer, Pat Getz-Preziosi, Diana Buitron-Oliver, and Andrew Oliver, Jr. 1987. Antiquities from the Collection of Christos G. Bastis, Emma Swan Hall, ed. no. 184, p. 307, Mainz on Rhine: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Herrmann, Ariel and Dr. Seán Hemingway. 1996. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1995-1996." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 54(2): pp. 12–13.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1996. "One Hundred Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1995 through June 30, 1996." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 126: p. 17.

Picón, Carlos A. 2009. "Glass and Gold of the Hellenistic and Early Roman World." Philippe de Montebello and the Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977-2008, James R. Houghton, ed. p. 21, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Schiff, Stacy. 2010. Cleopatra: A Life. p. 243, Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Svyatoslav, Konkin V. 2012. "Artistic Features of Antiquity Glass : Aspects of Combining Glass and Gold." Ph.D. Diss. p. 37, fig. II.2.51. Moscow.

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