Baule earring, 6th century b.c.
Gold and enamel; Diam. 3/4 in. (2 cm)
Purchase, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Abraham (Jacob Bleibtreu Foundation, Inc.), 1994 (1994.374)
This earring represents one of the most common types in Etruscan jewelry but with exceptionally elaborate embellishment. The curved body consists of two metopes, both containing floral ornaments. The flower at the top was made separately and attached; the more stylized motif below was made of wire fused to the underlying surface. The very top of the object preserves two heads showing women wearing tiny disk earrings inlaid with enamel; there would have been a third. Immediately below is a band of tongues in alternating lighter and darker blue enamel. The whole conception is markedly architectonic, on the one hand, and executed with the most delicate means, on the other.