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The Lydian Treasure



Width 9.9 cm. ; thickness of hoop 0.9 cm. ; height of lions 8.6 cm. ; weight 108.96 gr.


The two bracelets or armlets are essentially identical. Each has a kidney-shaped hoop of rectangular section, with an open channel on the exterior. The terminals are in the form of the foreparts of two lions, shown couchant, with paws outstretched and snarling heads turned back. Eyes, eye frames, noses, muzzles, teeth, ears, paws and claws are precisely and neatly defined. The projecting ruff framing each face is hatched, the manes otherwise cross-hatched. Attention to detail is further confirmed by the careful working of the underside of the paws, despite the fact that these would not be seen when the bracelets were worn. Shoulder and foreleg musculature is rendered with conventional abstraction and ribbed outline. The terminals are cast and neatly soldered to the ends of the hammered hoops. The hollow channel of each hoop would originally have been filled with some substance (ground glass ?) to give a contrasting colour to the gold.
Characteristically Achaemenid are the kidney-shape, as demonstrated by bracelet representation in stone sculpture and glazed tile from Persepolis and Susa and by jewellery examples from Susa and the Oxus Treasure. Such bracelets are worn by the dignitary in the Karaburun tomb near Elmali. The abstract rendering and ribbed outlines of shoulder and foreleg musculature, also seen on the ladle no. 30, is also Achaemenid. Comparable are the lion-griffin terminals of a pair of gold bracelets found at Dag Kizilca Köyü near Manisa (lzmir Museum 3569 A/B). Another parallel is a gold finial, possibly a bracelet terminal, in the form of a bull or ram protome with head turned back, which reportedly came from Sardis.


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