Hellenistic Greek Gold Aphrodite Hairpin

Greek · Hellenistic, 1st century B.C.




H: 14.6 cm (5.7 in)





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This long and elegant gold hairpin is adorned with a charming figurative scene: positioned at the top of a Corinthian capital featuring an abundance of acanthus leaves, a small Eros offers the necessary support to the goddess Aphrodite who rests above him, her foot balanced over a dolphin. Eros holds a mirror in his hands as the nude goddess appears to adorn herself, adjusting one of her anklets to complement the snake-shaped arm bracelets she already wears. With further fine incisions decorating the entire length of the pin, this luxury object can be clearly linked to its use as stylish ornamentation.


Art market, prior to 1999;

Christie’s Jewelry Auction, New York, 8 December 1999, lot 42;

The Gilbert Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts, acquired in Geneva, 21 October 2000.


GLUEK, G., From Myth to Life: Images of Woman from the Classical World, The New York Times, August 20, 2004, p. B28;

COSTELLO, K., Feminine mystique: Ancient objects provide look at roles of women throughout time, Herald Tribune, September 16, 2005, p. 25;

HENRY, A., Designing Women, The Tampa Tribune, September 18, 2005, p.11-12.

The Gilbert Collection: by Phoenix Ancient Art, New York, 2019, no. 152


From Myth to Life: Images of Women from the Classical World, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, 12 March – 10 October 2004, p.44 , no. 7;

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 12 February – 31 July, 2005;

Tampa Museum of Art, Florida, 18 September – 3 December 2005;

La Biennale, Paris, 2019;

PAD London, 2019