Lion's head

Lion's headLion's head

Greek historians from the 5th and 4th century B.C., like Herodotus and Xenophon, tell us that Persian men and women wore countless pieces of jewelry. The fabulous treasures in the royal palaces and the rich attire of the Persian armies appeal to our imagination. The lion is a beloved motif in Persian metalwork. The golden head was worn, in pairs, on a garment.

The use of ornaments

Ornaments are worn in order to embellish one's looks. However, they also say something about their owner's wealth, rank and status. Many ornaments are only used on special occasions, like weddings, parades or rituals. Sometimes they serve as votive offerings to temples or as taxes in kind. So ornaments are more than just 'beautiful things'.

A real masterpiece

Without doubt, this is a real masterpiece: the agressive-looking head has been rendered in a well-balanced, detailed and extremely sophisticated manner. A magnificent piece of jewelry.

Object: Ornament
Dating from: 400 B.C.
Material:  Silver, Gold
Size: 5.3 x 4.9 cm
Origin: Iran; Hammadan
Collection: Near East
Code: B 1960/11.1