Unknown artist, Greek
Medallion, late 4th century BCE-early 3rd century BCE
Gold, garnet; enamel inlay
Diameter: 7 cm (2 3/4 inches)
Museum Appropriation Fund 29.256
This depiction of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, shows a bust in the center of a series of decorated circles ending in nine small gold loops. Medallions like this have been recovered from many places in the Hellenistic world. Scholars are unsure of their exact function. Theories suggest their use as the central piece of a lady’s hairnet or as a small box cover. Although much of the jewelry in this case has clear modern parallels, some pieces, like this medallion, are more difficult to place.
Classical JewelryAncient Jewelry from the Museum's Collection
Edited ByHolloway, R. Ross, ed.
Contributions byHackens, Tony
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design., 1976
TypeMonographs and CollectionsA Handbook of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
Edited ByWoodward, Carla M., and Franklin W. Robinson, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1988
TypeMonographs and CollectionsManuala journal about art and its making. Unfinished
Edited ByGanz, Sarah Blythe, S. Hollis Mickey, and Amy Pickworth, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2015