The ancient Romans considered jewellery to be an essential accessory, for it provided a public display of their wealth. Roman jewellery at first followed trends set by the Etruscans, using gold and glass beads, but as the power and spread of the Roman Empire increased, so too did jewellery designs became increasingly elaborate. Different cultural styles from Greece, Egypt, North Africa, and the Orient were all incorporated to reflect Rome’s prosperity as a dominant, conquering city. The wide range of natural resources enabled artisans to create ostentatious jewellery using a diverse selection of materials: this increasingly included sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, garnet and amber from India, and pearls (which were particularly prized). Archaeological finds of Roman jewellery are relatively rare, considering the magnitude of Roman civilisation, and the historical and geographical span of the Empire.
Roman Gold Earrings with Chain Drops
An unusual matching set of Roman gold earrings: each comprises a simple, oval hoop with a narrowing and twisting end. These fixed loops are threaded with a glass bead. The earrings are finely embellished with a drop of gold wire wrapped around the upper section, with three glass beads and gold granulated beads strung upon it. A gold chain runs from the base back to the hoop.
Condition: Very fine condition.