Greek Jewelry

Posted on: 10/27/2017, by :

Greek jewelry didn’t feature as much gold as other civilizations because gold was not available at the time in the region.

However some examples do exist of gold being present and some generalizations can be made from the evidence.

During the 6th and 7th centuries, jewelry produced in Attica and Peloponnese seemed to show a strong oriental influence. This influence resembled that of the Etruscan territory that was showcased in many places at the time.

During the 5th century, this iconic style waterfalled to many parts of Europe, and the oriental style which featured animals, and war scenes disappeared over time. The wide oval ring bezels were slowly replaced by human figurines. Naked riders on galloping horses and naked standing maidens that were depicted with clothes occasionally, and deities and mythological figures soon took over.

The extremely refined repertoire was closely related to sculpture and classic ideals of beauty within Greek culture. During its evolution, Greek jewelry featured pre-dominant characters of sculpture both in miniature and isolated figures as well as religious and mythological scenes.

The subsequent Greek expansion into Anatolia and southern Italy, as well as the Balkans resulted in the Hellenization of the entire region.

Under the rule of Alexander the great, a new era for jewelry design began. Hellenistic underwent massive developments in areas thanks to advancements in the art scenes of the different areas under Greek rule.

During the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, the technical know-how of Hellenistic goldsmiths reached unprecedented levels. The styles featured sumptuous and plastic vigor which featured intricate arrangements of decorative motifs representing, Unity, clarity, and rhythms.

The advanced techniques and virtuosity in a miniature can be seen in the creation of some of the first cameos and in disc earrings that featured pendants, often very tiny in terms of size.

A great example of one of these masterpieces was an earring featuring a winged figure of a woman on top of a two horse chariot. The intricacies and tiny details and the severity of style in which it was modeled, as well of the rhythmic dynamism of the figures made for a very fascinating microscopic monument, or some would argue, a sculpture.

As well as being a worthy of extremely high consideration, the diadems became commonly used as a result of some of the Persian conquests made by Alexander the great.

One particular type was a rigid elliptical shape in the center and pendants dangling over the forehead.

Another type of decorated and jewel-like enameled flowers demonstrated an increase use of color during this period.

An example of this was a type of work was common at the time, and was made entirely from gold pieces, and which was hollow and filled with resin and fashioned into the shape of rosettes, acorns, or amphorae, featuring stones and vitreous paste.

During the 3rd century BC, the bracelet that we know today was born and featured the shape of a serpent that was extremely popular during the Roman period. This same serpent motif was also featured on many ring designs.