Gold Necklace with Acorns
Greek, 5th century BC

Gallery 33, Ancient Greece, First Floor


Focus on the Object

This beautiful necklace was found in a grave at Nymphaeum, one of many ancient Greek colonies on the coast of the Black Sea. Four other graves were found in the same necropolis (cemetery).

About the Necklace

This stunning gold necklace, dating from the second half of the 5th century BC, is one of the most exquisite pieces from the Classical Greek period. It is composed of acorns suspended from 22 rosettes which alternate with stylised lotus flowers supporting small beads. All the elements are made of sheet gold and are edged with beaded gold wire.

The craftsmanship is of a very high standard, judging from the intricate nature of the piece and from the cleverly disguised junction between each acorn and its ‘shell’. Gold desposits were rare in the Aegean area and most gold was probably acquired through trade from further afield. This must have been a highly prized possession.