SOLD: Italian 22-carat gold necklace, 142 grams, circa 1880


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This stunning antique Italian gold necklace is a late Victorian abbreviated version of a famous ancient jewel in the collection of the National Archaelogical Museum of Naples.

Believed to date from the sixth or fifth century BC, the original is attributed to Etruscan craftsmen and was unearthed in Ruvo in Magna Grecia (now southern Italy).

There’s another Victorian copy in the collection of the British Museum.

They all feature intricately woven gold bearing rows of pendants: acorns, lotus blossoms and heads of Silenus, who in Greek mythology was a mentor to Dionysus and a god of wine-making and drunkenness – he was associated with musical creativity, ecstatic dance and intoxicated joy.

In one story Silenus was captured by King Midas, to whom Dionysus granted one wish for his companion’s safe return – that everything he touched turned to gold.

Lotus flowers also appear in Homer’s Odyssey, when Odysseus makes landfall on an island whose people eat the plant and consequently live in a state of perpetual, indolent bliss.

From joy to bliss – it seems that this 142-gram, 22-carat gold jewel is destined to celebrate good times through the ages.

Displaying wonderful granulation and fine craftsmanship, it’s a rare Archaeological Revival piece in wonderful condition.

And it’s magnificent when worn!


• Handmade in 22-carat yellow gold
• Necklace approximately 16 1/4 inches (41cm) long, drop section 18cm (7 inches) wide, faces 25mm (1 inch) long
• Weight is 142 grams
• In excellent antique condition
• Will come in a Karen Deakin gift box

Please examine the photographs carefully – they form part of the description.

I’d be very happy to send more information and images. Layaway available.

I accept returns within 14 days if you’re not delighted with your purchase.

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