Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access

page 28

necklaces, either whole or fragmentary, have been found in other parts of Cyprus, which, from the designs and devices exhibited by the pendants and other details, may be compared with the specimens that were discovered during the progress of my own excavations at Salamis.1 The well-known works of Sir

1 Sec figs. 11-l4, above.

Gardner Wilkinson, Mariette, and other writers who have treated on the jewellery and goldsmiths' work of the Egyptians, do not fail to inform the student of the extreme closeness of the likeness which may be recognised between a very large proportion of the relics of that category which have been found in Cyprus and those of Egyptian antiquity generally. The museums at Alnwick Castle, Naples, and London, abound with such instances as might well have been discovered in Cyprus, instead of on the banks of the Nile. In speaking of ear-rings, and other works of personal ornament, I shall haveoccasion to refer to this similitude, which may almost be taken to attest the common origin of very considerable numbers of these articles. Several circumstances, to which I shall allude by-and-by, prompt the notion that we ought to look to the goldsmiths of Tyre rather than to those of Egypt or Cyprus, for the origin and manufacture of the greater portion of these beautiful relics, as the examples display Egyptian or Assyrian types of subjects, and are not of the highest order in art. The art-work of the Greek goldsmith, of course, surpassed all others, except its congener, the marvellously modelled and exquisitely laborious Etruscan works, or rather those which appear to be Phœnician and are found in Etruria as well as other Mediterranean countries. The museum at Leyden contains a noble collection of Egyptian jewellery which might profitably be compared by the student of Cypriote antiquities. The British Museum is rich in personal ornaments attesting the fact to which I have alluded, i.e., the similitude of much Cypriotic and Nilotic gold work. Nor is it thus with regard to works in the precious metal only: at Alnwick, and at Leyden, are numerous objects, such as toilet-boxes carved in wood, or moulded in earthenware, in the forms of ducks, geese, fish, and other things, which closely resemble specimens in the collection before us. Bronze and earthenware vases found in Thebes, or represented by wall-paintings at that place, depart, in but small respects, from those which I can place before the reader as brought from Cyprus. There is a picture in the British Museum, brought from Thebes, which represents a party of Egyptian ladies at what may be called an "afternoon tea", eagerly discussing their ear-rings, the patterns of which are very like those which occur in gold in this collection, and are reproduced in the statuettes of terra-cotta, to which I shall, farther on, call attention, as illustrating in a very complete, curious, and perfectly veritable manner, the Cypriotic fashions in personal decorations with gold and other precious materials. " The jewels of silver and jewels of gold" which are represented in this collection, may be taken to be of the kind occasionally alluded to in the Scriptures, and like them to be due in no inconsiderable numbers to those Syrian and Sidonian artificers1 whose skill undoubtedly had much to do in furnishing models and types of inestimable value in the development of Greek art, which, of all the classes in question, is the noblest and most pure. Besides the phallic and other emblems, as, for example, the lotus flower, there are two differently shaped beads of cornelian.

1 See Ezekiel's denunciation of Tyrus, Chapters xxvi, xxvii.

The mode, in which the objects of this group have been attached to each other, proves that they were intended to be worn as in Fig. 16, a statuette in the collection. The surfaces of the beads have suffered by attrition. Among other articles included with the necklace which contains the phallic emblems to which I have drawn the attention of the reader, is a very small pomegranate' in gold. Both these articles are likely to have been made by the same goldsmith; they closely resemble each other, and they were found in the same city. Another in this group is very curious and valuable; it is a small model of an archaic type of gold, repro-

Back to Topic