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Bracelet with a basket flanked by snakes

about 40–20 B.C.


Dimensions

Height x diameter: 6.4 x 6.2 cm (2 1/2 x 2 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

1981.288

Medium or Technique

Gold, emeralds, and pearls (modern)

On View

Gems and Jewelry of the Ancient Mediterranean (Made possible by the Vance Wall Foundation) (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry , The Ancient World

Classifications

Jewelry / Adornment , Bracelets, Armlets

A gold bracelet composed of a gold band studded with two outer rows of pearls. The projecting central element, a basket (kalathos), is decorated with cabochon emeralds and flanked by coiling snakes. Snakes were regarded as protective spirits, associated with healing (Asklepios) by the Greeks and the Romans. In an Egyptian context, the snake was often associated with Agathodaimon ("the Good Spirit"). One of a pair with 1981.287.

Provenance

By 1980: with Holger Termer, Friedensweg 22, 2000 Hamburg 52, Germany (as ex Kunst der Antike: Ausstellung, Nov. 19-Dec. 19, 1980, Hamburg, no. 94); September 16, 1981: purchased by MFA from Holger Termer

Credit Line

Classical Department Exchange Fund