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Pair of Earrings with Cow Heads
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Pair of Earrings with Cow Heads

Description Provenance Credit
Description Besides the common loop earrings with lion heads, Greek artisans developed a large variety of earrings. Simple versions combine a disc with a pyramidal or vase-shaped pendants; more elaborate earrings feature figural pendants with animals, hybrid creatures such as sphinxes and sirens, or Eros figurines, the latter being a very popular motif. This charming pair of earrings consists of bovine heads protruding from biconical beads hanging from simple loops. The animal heads are made in repoussé with engraved and chased details, while the bead is decorated with fine granulation. Bulls were symbols of fertility and power sacred to Zeus, while cows were sacred to Hera, the wife of Zeus and patron of marriage.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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5th century BCE (Late Archaic-Classical)
Accession Number
VO.69 (57.589, 57.590)
1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm) (diam.)


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