Øresmykke. Etruskisk

Etruscan, c. 500 BC

Gold. 4,0 cm diameter
Inventory number: H1870

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The ear decoration consists of a thin, disc-shaped lamina of gold foil decorated with ornamental bands. At the centre of the disc there is a flower surrounded by wreaths of leaves and a circle of rosettes. Miniature gold beads decorate the flower at the centre and also the outer circle of v-shaped leaves. The ear decoration was made using a filigree and granulation technique. This technique employs thin gold threads and gold beads, which, as they were heated, melted and became fixed to the surface in decorative patterns. The ear decoration was one of a pair that has been worn by a woman of high status. Among the places from which gold jewellery like this is known are the so-called princely tombs excavated in ancient Etruria. Many of Thorvaldsen’s Etruscan artefacts are associated with Vulci, whence this ear-stud also could be assumed to derive.