Ancient gold jewelry was generally formed from thin sheets of gold, rather than solid gold. By this method, the maximum effect could be achieved using the minimum amount of a precious and expensive material. These earrings are formed of a hollow oval that conceals the ear loop behind it. They have as pendants stylized clusters of hollow grapes ornamented with very small gold granules. The geometric grape design in many variations was popular throughout the Roman Empire in the second and third centuries.
Artist Roman
  • Earring
Date 3rd century CE
Medium Gold
Dimensions Overall: 2 3/8 × 15/16 × 7/8 inches (6 × 2.4 × 2.2 cm)
Credit Line City of Detroit Purchase
Accession Number 27.275.B
Department Greco-Roman and Ancient European
On View Ancient Greek and Roman S201, Level 2 (see map)
(R. V. D. Magoffin);
1927-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Henshaw, Julia P., ed. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit 1995), p. 119 (ill.).