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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Earrings with bull head terminal

Period:
Ptolemaic Period
Date:
4th–3rd century B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
a. As Worn: H. 1.6 × W. 2 cm (5/8 × 13/16 in.) b. As Worn: H. 1.6 × W. 1.8 cm (5/8 × 11/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910
Accession Number:
10.130.1505a, b
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 simple collar composed of a series of tongues mostly date to the early Ptolemaic Period.
Formerly in the collection of the Reverend Chauncey Murch (died 1907). Collected between 1883 and 1906 while Murch was a missionary in Egypt. Collection purchased by the Museum from the Murch family with funds provided by Helen Miller Gould, 1910.

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