This is a very rare pair of Chalcolithic gold earrings, belonging to the Copper Age c. 2400-2200 BC. Such objects are variously referred to as 'basket ornaments' or 'basket earrings', or 'hair rings'. They are in any case personal ornaments, and have been found in pairs dating to the early Beaker period. This pair closely falls into Needham's Atlantic Group B (ii) (Needham 2011).

They both have reeded decoration, skillfully produced by repousee work to the gold. Each piece has an elongated tang, formed from sheet gold that has been folded over to produce a stronger ear-wire. How such earrings were worn is not known, but the way the hoop curls over, they could be hooked over the top of the ear or even through an ear piercing.

These gold earrings are exceptionally rare, worn as high status objects by a few very powerful people such as royalty or priests.

OBJECT: Basket earrings

CULTURE: Chalcolithic - Copper Age

DATE: c. 2400 - 2200 BC

MATERIAL: Gold

SIZE: 16.85mm x 8.21mm x 14.92mm --- 18.22mm x 7.78mm x 15.70mm

WEIGHT: 1.03g

PROVENANCE: Ex. Private European Collection. Graz, Austria.

Price: £1495

Item code: (#AU00XVANT939)

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