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The Lydian Treasure

Brooch in the Form of a Hippocamp

Gold and Glass

Height including pendant chains 3.4 cm.
length 2 cm.
weight 14.3 gr.

Usak Museum

All features of the hippocamp, including mane, feathers, scales and fins, are precisely and neatly articulated. Attached to each of the right foreleg) central fin and rear fin is a collar of sheet gold with three mouldings, from within which depends a group of three chains, of multiple loop-in-loop construction, each terminating in a floral bead with a glass point. The chains are attached using a similar technique to that used to join the chain pendants of no.109, whereby a gold wire passes through a perforation at each side of the collar and through the top links of all three chains; the wire is bent around the back of the collar into a ring, thus securing the chains.

The floral beads have two tiers of six petals with raised centres and hatched borders, the petal tips accented by granulation spheres. Around the top of each bead is a ring of beaded wire, and from a moulding around the bottom projects a serrated crown, the five teeth of which secure a glass point. In two of the triads one glass point survives intact; the others have lost their tips and one is missing completely. The two complete points are opaque red glass. In each triad is one broken blue point and one broken green aquamarine point (possibly oxidised red). Attached to the flat back face of the brooch is a horizontal pin with a spring of three coils, and two adjacent open rings for the clasp.

Class acorns are not common; a mid 4th century BC glass acorn pendant in the British Museum (CR 1857.12-20.43) came from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassos.Simpler plain bead and acorn pendant ensembles were made from punches like nos. 201 and 202. Analogous floral beads also occur on the hippocamp brooch (no.112) and on a necklace with seed like pendants from the so-called Tomb of the Carian Princess at Halicarnassos, of a late 5th or 4th century date. The treatment of the petals is similar to that of seed like pendants from the Great Blitznitza tomb group. also of a later date. A remarkable unprovenanced parallel is a necklace in the Batya and Elie Borowski Collection in Jerusalem which has beech nut pendants comparable to those of necklace no.133. and large floral beads virtually identical to those of the acorn necklace no. 108. From each floral bead is suspended a triad of chains which have terminals very similar to those of the hippocamp brooch no.112. The necklace has been dated to the 4th century BC although the criteria for this are not clear, and one might be tempted to propose an earlier date on the evidence of the Usak-Gure comparisons.


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
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