This is a wonderful early Iron Age gold appliqué, dating to the 5th century B.C. It belongs to the Eastern European Sakae culture, of a Royal Scyth. The appliqué is made from hammered gold sheet, decorated with a repoussé rosette design. The centre of the appliqué is set with a dark blue / purple glass gemstone, surrounded with a border of granulation. The back of the appliqué is folded for attachment. Such items were worn sewn onto clothing, or attached to an elaborate headdress. It is an superb and very bold example, slightly crumpled on the edges from excavation.
Interestingly the famous Amazon Warrior women of classical antiquity, are now thought to have been Scythian. Research and a renewed interest in the subject, is discussed in a National Geographic article here. The ancient Greeks had many stories and tales of their adventures, including the famous Jason's Golden Fleece. The amount of gold objects and wealth the Scythians had, is reflected in this ostentatious display - worn on clothing and in their hair.
It is a great looking piece of early gold, in excellent excavated condition.
CULTURE: Early Iron Age / Sakae Culture
DATE: c. 5th century B.C.
MATERIAL: Gold & Glass
SIZE: 41mm x 38mm x 5.17mm
WEIGHT: 3.31 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. S. Reynolds collection of Scythian art. Cambridgeshire.
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