Boat-shaped earring with a running gorgon

Classical Period
400–325 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Northern Greece (probably)


Overall: 3.7cm (1 7/16in.) Overall: 10.52 gm (0.02 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Earrings, flares, plugs, studs

A boat-shaped earring with filigree decoration. The body of the crescent is decorated with four bands of ornament separated by bands of twisted wire. Above is a five-petaled palmette with two S-shaped scrolls at each side. Then follows a band of eight S-shaped scrolls. Below is a Lesbian cymation (a row of broad leaves with two-petaled leaflets between their points) and finally a band of tongue pattern. Along the lower edge runs a beaded wire on which are mounted a kind of cresting made up of triangles topped with beads of granulation. At either end of the crescent are triple spools edged with beaded wire and braided wire in the recesses of the spools. Topping the ends are, on one side, a distorted human head and, on the other, a ring of elongated petals with double filigree borders. Filling the space between the ends of the crescent is a running gorgon, composed of two sheets of gold.

The suspension loop is soldered to the ends of the crescent with no visible means of latching or unlatching: either the loop has been reattached, or the earring was permanently inserted into an ear of the wearer, or it was not intended to be worn.


By date unknown: Mrs. S. D. Warren Collection (acquired by S. D. Warren in Athens and loaned by Mrs. Warren to MFA in 1909 as 13.09); by date unknown: Mrs. J. Gardner Bradley Collection (Mabel Warren Bradley); year-end gift of Mrs. J. Gardner Bradley to MFA, December 1960; accessioned January 11, 1961

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. J. Gardner Bradley