Gold necklace with lion-headed terminals


British Museum

British Museum

This magnificent lion-head necklace is said to have been found at Capua in Campania with a pair of matching lion-head earrings. The lion heads are of sheet gold and were made in two halves (left and right). There is additional chasing (freehand working that displaces or dents the gold, rather than cuts into it) especially on the muzzles and ruffs. The eyes are inlaid with blue enamel (glass paste). The collars behind the heads are decorated with filigree wire florals. The chain is massive but employs simple loop-in-loop units of beaded wire. A number of examples of earrings employing this type of lion head have been found and it is likely that they and this necklace were all produced in one workshop in Taranto at the end of the fourth century BC.

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  • Title: Gold necklace with lion-headed terminals
  • Date Created: -300/-300
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 40.50cm; Weight: 90.60g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: chased; enamelled; beaded wire
  • Subject: mammal
  • Registration number: 1872,0604.662
  • Production place: Made in Taranto
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Capua
  • Period/culture: Western Greek
  • Material: gold; enamel
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Castellani, Alessandro