Greek Jewellery

Significant innovations in Greek jewellery can be traced to Alexander the Great’s conquests, which introduced Ancient Greek artists to new styles and materials. The Greek tradition of carving gemstones emerged under Minoan influence on mainland Helladic culture, and reached an apogee of subtlety and refinement in the Hellenistic period.

Gold hair ornament and net, 3rd c. BC.

Wreaths

One unusual form of Greek jewellery was intricate and very delicate gold wreaths imitating plant-forms, worn on the head.

Intaglios

Intaglios were gemstones that were cut into and gave a negative relief. The engraving of gemstones was a major luxury art form in Ancient Greece and intaglios were mounted onto necklaces and rings.

Apollonios of Athens, gold ring with portrait in garnet, c. 220 BC. Walters Art Museum.

Cameos

Cameos seem to have reached Ancient Greece around the 3rd c. BC, as the conquests of Alexnader the Great opened up new trade routes. Unfortunately, very few examples have survived.

The Gonzaga cameo, 3rd c. BC, depicting Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his wife, Arsinoe II. Hermitage Museum.
The Cup of the Ptolemies, c. 250 BC, decorated with Dionysiac vignettes and emblems.

Bracelets & Armbands

Set of two gold Triton armbands, c. 200 BC. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Earrings

Pair of gold earrings with an Egyptian Atef crown set with stones and glass, 3rd-2nd c. BC. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Headpieces

Jewellery Sets

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