A Mycenaean Gold Earring from the time of the Iliad, Late Helladic II, ca. 13th century BCE
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From the time of the Iliad, a lovely and rare gold hoop earring, formed from a solid crescent with a fixed inverted conical pendant ornamented with fine granulation along its length, a plain wire wound spirally at the join, a band of granules wrapping around the hoop, and two leaves of granules on either side.
Hoop earrings are known from Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece from as early as the 17th century B.C. A century later, perhaps through influence from Syria, the type was enriched with a fixed granulated pendant, the so-called "mulberry" type. It continued to evolve during the period of Mycenaean domination of Crete, 1450-1100 B.C., into the "super-mulberry," a much larger version, as seen on the example presented here. Similar earrings have been found at several sites in Crete, including Palaikastro and Knossos (see R.A. Higgins, Greek and Roman Jewellery, pp. 62-63, 74-75, and pl. 10d).
Dimensions: Length: 2 cm (0.78 inches), Ring diameter: 1.2 cm (0.47 inches)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition, a rare example.
Provenance: Vernon Pick (1903 - 1986) private collection assembled in Switzerland in the late 1950s and then by descent to Pick's nephew, Mr. Jim Hanson, Minnesota. Vernon Pick, a middle-aged electrician from Minnesota, turned uranium prospecting into a multimillion-dollar proposition. After nine months of fruitless prospecting, Pick discovered uranium 75 miles southwest of Green River, in Emery County in Utah on June 21, 1952. He staked several claims and called them the Delta mines. In Utah, he proved up 300,000 tons of ore that Time magazine called “one of the richest finds in the Colorado Plateau.”. Two years later Pick sold his mine to international financier Floyd Odlum for $9 million and a custom-converted PBY airplane. Odlum renamed the mine the Hidden Splendor, but soon after his purchase the highly touted vein pinched out. Local wags then dubbed the mine "Odlum's Hidden Blunder."