Gold armband with Herakles knot

Period: Hellenistic

Date: 3rd–2nd century B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Gold inlaid with garnets, emeralds, and enamel

Dimensions: 3 1/2in. (8.9cm)

Classification: Gold and Silver

Credit Line: Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Christos G. Bastis Gift, 1999

Accession Number: 1999.209


The Herakles knot on this sumptuous armband is enriched with floral decoration and inlaid with garnets, emeralds, and enamel. According to the Roman writer Pliny, the decorative device of the Herakles knot could cure wounds, and its popularity in Hellenistic jewelry suggests that it was thought to have the power to avert evil.