Diadem in the form of a Herakles knot

Early Hellenistic Period
320–280 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia, Taranto


Length x width: 7.2 x 4.2 cm (2 13/16 x 1 5/8) Weight: 36.55 gm (0.08 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)


Jewelry, The Ancient World



The knot originally formed the centerpiece of a headband (diadem). Two intertwined loops of tubing edged with beaded wire form the Herakles knot (or square knot). Delicate floral ornaments overlie the knot; at the center is a palmette embellished with a tiny central acanthus leaf; the palmette springs from calyces of acanthus, and six tiny six-petaled rosettes on wire stems spring from it. In each of the four corners where loops cross was a flower with eight slender twisting petals. One of the flowers is now missing. Beads of granulation form the centers of all the flowers and rosettes. The tubes of the knot are cut off roughly at both ends. Ancient mounting holes pierce the tubes laterally at each end.


By date unknown: with Giuseppe Nervegna at Brindisi (with 99.371, 372, 373, 374); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: purchased of Signor. Giuseppe Nervegna at Brindisi who had the five from Squinzano where they were all found together); 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund