Ariadne

Fertility Amulet
Period: circa fourth century BC
Culture: Thracian
Material: Gold and glass
Dimensions: 4.5 cm H
 
Fertility Amulet
Fertility Amulet
Fertility Amulet
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Fertility Amulet
Fertility Amulet
Fertility Amulet
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This exquisite pendant of unusual form is a product of the expert goldsmiths of the ancient Thracian kingdoms; the Thracians were renowned in antiquity for their love of gold and their skill in metallurgy, fashioning objects in gold that even today would be a challenge to jewellers. The silhouette is strangely reminiscent of the schematic but powerful forms of the early Greek Neolithic mother goddess sculptures, which were associated with fertility cults, especially that of the Great Goddess. It is possible that the ancient Thracian goldsmith, influenced by these early symbols of fertility and abundance, was inspired to create a version in precious metal, a more personal and portable image of fertility for a nomadic people whose way of life depended on constant mobility.

Provenance

Nasli M. Heeramaneck, New York, 1960s. 

Alexander, New York, 1990s.