Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
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Another class, as regards simplicity of form and design, and as to age and origin doubtless of equal diversity with the above-named lunettes, are ear-rings of tube-like contours, crescent-shaped, and tapering at each end, to form the usual loop and pin which, being joined at the extremities, secured the ornament when in use. Of these, several have wires remaining, on which beads were placed (fig. 24). Most of these relics are of thin gold and hollow. They were made thus for cheapness, as well as lightness, and for sepulchral and mortuary, rather than domestic use. An example has been found of a modified form of the same type as the above, to which, by way of pendant, is attached a little disk of gold, which is chased with a satyric mask of free and energetic designs, and doubtless of Greek origin and provincial manufacture. The ring itself is of bronze, covered with thick leaf gold, through which the more perishable alloy within has forced its way, since fracture of the gold covering by some mechanical means exposed the bronze to the action of the atmosphere, causing extensive oxidation, so that the green oxide burst forth and spread itself, rending the gold as it did so.1 A very large number of objects of this kind occur in collections of antique jewellery. The deteriorating effect of the process in question has been very great. While thus describing the condition of gold-encrusted bronze objects, I may as well add that examples of the commoner sorts of goldsmiths' works sometimes prove to have been formed on clay , or gypsum bodies, other specimens on silver-gilt; others again consist of lead bodies, encrusted with thick gold. I found, among others, a wire ear-ring of gold or elec-trum, on which is strung a pear-shaped bead of green glass— another specimen of popular jewellery, and as such very interesting to the student of the "ways and means" of antiquity. A similar wire ear-ring retains its little pendent cylindrical bugles, one of which, being of glass, is splendidly iridescent. It is in this respect a small example of the effect of decomposition of glass when exposed to certain influences

1 See Plato I, fig. 27.

of the same kind which have affected large numbers of glass vessels of many ages and forms, which it will be my pleasure to describe further on. There are other instances to be classed with the last-named ear-ring. Many of these ornaments are so small that they must have belonged to children, if they were not, which is equally probable, merely designed for mortuary use. Ear-rings of great varieties of design and age occur in this collection. Here the pendants are little balls (fig. 25) or plates (fig. 26) of gold strung on stems of twisted wire of the same metal, and accompanied by disks of the like material, which are enriched with granulated work of no great fineness. One of the most numerous classes of ear-rings is that of which many specimens have been found by excavators in Assyrian sites, as well as in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Sardinia, and Etruria. These beautiful objects have at one extremity of the ring proper the head of a bull. Other specimens of the same category (figs. 27-35), terminate in the heads of bulls, goats, cocks, and dolphins. More frequent than the latter are the ear-rings which, in the same fashion, bear the heads of lions (fig. 36) of exquisite workmanship and noble designs. Bracelets with lions' heads have been found at Kurium and elsewhere. They were believed to have been of Assyrian origin, but the dispersion of jewellery of the like character, and closely resembling the above in artistic style, has led observers to attribute these relics to the famous Tyrian artificers, whose works would be borne all over the ancient world in the ships of Phoenicia, and the merchants who attended Sidonian markets. "The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: They occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones and gold." "What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea ? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth."1 The heads pertaining to these ear-rings are not all 1 Ezek. xxvii, 22, 32, 33. derived from the forms of animals—one has a head of a negro with chased band round the neck (fig. 37). The largest and finest of this collection is, in the usual way, made of twisted gold wire, enlarging to form a body of some bulk, and terminating at one extremity in a female head, furnished with ample tresses, and of a noble aspect; on the wire are strung four rings of gold, enriched with granulations in the so-called Etruscan mode, together with two dark red beads, and one of variegated colour (fig. 38).

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