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Strap Necklace with Spearhead Pendants

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: Greek
: 4th century B.C.
: Gold
: L: 31.8 cm (12.5 in)

Ex-American private collection, NY ; acquired in the 1980’s.


This necklace comprises a strap made of several loop-in-loop chains that are interlinked side by side; the strap terminates at both ends in clasps with a filigree decoration featuring a palmette on a spiral base. A fringe of tiny, spearhead pendants, each made of three lobes, is attached to the strap’s lower edge. The join is covered by small, elaborate rosettes that also function as coverings for the wires used to attach the pendants.

Necklaces with a regular series of identical pendants have a long history in Greek jewelry and can even be seen represented on vases. Various forms of amphora-shaped pendants were popular in the fourth century B.C., until they were replaced by the spearhead pendant; this term that is not exactly correct, but is identical to the ancient Greek name used for this type of pendant—logchia or hormoi logchotoi—which is known from early Hellenistic temple inventories.

Spearhead necklaces have been found in various parts in Greece, Asia Minor, southern Russia, and Magna Graecia. The earliest examples were found in excavated contexts in Pella and Derveni in Macedonia and date to the late fourth century B.C.; the latest date to the third century B.C.


For spearhead necklaces in general, see

DEPPERT-LIPPITZ B., Griechischer Goldschmuck (1985), pp. 168ff..

BLANCK I., Studien zum griechischen Halsschmuck der archaischen und klassischen Zeit (1974), pp.83 f..

WILLIAMS D., The Kyme Treasure, in CALINESCU A. (ed.), Ancient Jewelry and Archaeology (1996), p. 122f., fig. 5, n. 43.

For the necklaces from Pella and Derveni, see

NINOU K., Treasures of Ancient Macedonia (1979), nos. 79, 253.

For pictorial representations,

AMANDRY P., Collection Hélène Stathatos (1953), pp. 210ff., fig. 116.

For similar necklaces in the Metropolitan Museum, New York; British Museum, London; and State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, see

WILLIAMS D. and OGDEN J., Greek Gold (1994), nos. 30, 3, and 106.

In the Antikensammlung, Berlin, see

GREIFENHAGEN A., Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, vol. 2 (1975), pl. 7, 4f..

In the Antikensammlung, Munich, see

ZAHLHAAS G. in WAMSER L. and GEBHARD R., Gold: Magie Mythos Macht; Gold der Alten und Neuen Welt (2001), p. 263, no. 98.

AMANDRY,  no. 218.HOFFMANN H., Antiker Gold- und Silberschmuck (1968), no. 12.

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