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Achaemenid 22K+ Gold Earrings with Phoenix - 11.3 grams

Near East, Anatolia or Iran, Achaemenid Empire, ca. 6th to 5th century BCE. A magnificent pair of over 22 karat gold hoop earrings (98% gold which is just about 24K) - each one of a crescent form adorned by a phoenix with outspread wings, skillfully delineated and embellished with an engraved eye and plumage, and surrounded by a rope patterned border. Ancient Greek writers described the impressive wealth of the Persians. To quote Herodotus when speaking of Xerxes' troops, they "were adorned with the greatest magnificence …. They glittered all over with gold, vast quantities of which they wore about their persons." (Vii. 83). Just imagine these beautiful earrings shimmering in the sunlight in the ancient Achaemenid Empire. Size: crescents measure 1.125" W x 1.125" H (2.9 cm x 2.9 cm); 1.5" H (3.8 cm) including hoop

The Achaemenid Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BCE (including Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Caucasus, Thrace and some parts of India) is generally regarded as one of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world. Its capital, Pasargadae, was Cyrus the Great's final resting place and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To demonstrate the Achaemenid Empire's love of gold, associates of Alexander the Great in accounts of a tomb in Pasargadae, described a golden sarcophagus, necklaces, and gold gemstone earrings. The tomb is located in Pasargadae, in the garden of a royal palace where an ensemble of artifacts known as the Pasargadae Treasure - including various articles of gold and silver, jewelry and gemstones - were found in a ceramic amphora.

Condition: Normal age wear, but imagery is still vivid. Some bending to hoops which are frozen in position. A reputable jeweler could fit with new settings to be wearable.

Provenance: private Davis collection, Houston, Texas, USA

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