Gold and enamel a baule earring

Period: Archaic

Date: 6th century B.C.

Culture: Etruscan

Medium: Gold, enamel

Dimensions: diameter 13/16in. (2cm)

Classification: Gold and Silver

Credit Line: Purchase, Jacob Bleibtreau Foundation Inc. Gift, 1994

Accession Number: 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 of which contain 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 will originally have been a third. Immediately below is a band of tongues in alternately 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.