Gold dress pin


British Museum

British Museum

Gold became common in Cyprus the Late Bronze Age (1650-1050 BC) when it was imported from the east along with most other precious raw materials. Some finished products were imported from the east, Egypt and Mycenaean Greece, but more often these countries introduced techniques, types and decorative motifs. Dress pins were widely used in western Asia, but these had plain shafts. Like other Cypriot examples, this pin has a side ring, evidently for some sort of additional fastening. Decoration in the form of granulation (attaching tiny grains of metal to the surface) was learnt from Mycenaean Greece, but Cypriot innovations probably included the loop-in-loop chain. This was formed of gold wire twisted into loops. A double loop-in-loop chain, where each link passes through the previous two, was more common. It is of this type of chain that the upper part of the shank of this pin is formed. The pin terminates in a faience bead in the shape of a pomegranate, crowned by gold foliage.

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  • Title: Gold dress pin
  • Date Created: -1400/-1300
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 13.20cm; Weight: 26.05g; Diameter: 0.75cm (pin); Diameter: 1.35cm (bead)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: soldered; twisted; hammered
  • Registration number: 1897,0401.14
  • Production place: Made in Cyprus
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Enkomi
  • Period/culture: Late Cypriot
  • Material: gold; glazed composition
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Excavated by Turner Bequest Excavations, Enkomi. Funded by Turner, Emma Tourner


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