Hellenistic gold olive wreath diadem Circa 3rd Century BC
The diadem composed of sheet gold over a tubular core, decorated with several long spear-shaped leaves with impressed veins and delicate hollow gold fruits, all attached to the core with twisted gold wire, a composition of four larger leaves and four berries at the centre.
ROYAL JEWELLERY || The Rosenborg Kokoshnik TiaraMade in the 1930’s by the Danish jeweller Dragsted, The Rosenborg Kokoshnik Tiara was acquired by Prince Viggo, Count of Rosenborg for his American-born wife, Princess Viggo. As the couple didn’t have any children, the tiara was inherited by Prince and Princess Viggo’s sister-in-law, Princess Margaretha, who in return passed it on to her daughter-in-law, Countess Ruth of Rosenborg. Following her death, it was put on an auction at Bukowskis where the estimated value was placed at more than $200.000 but it did not sell. It is modelled after the traditional Russian headdress, the kokoshnik (hence the name), and consists of garnets and diamonds.
Greek Gold Wreath of Oak Leaves and Flowers, possibly from Attica, Greece, late 2nd - early 1st century BC
In ancient Greece, oak leaves symbolized wisdom, and were associated with Zeus, who according to Greek mythology made his decisions while resting in an oak grove.
Gold wreaths such as this one derive their form from wreaths of real leaves worn in religious ceremonies or given as prizes in athletic and artistic contests. Because of their fragility, gold wreaths were probably not meant to be worn. They were dedicated to the gods in sanctuaries and placed in graves as funerary offerings. Although known in earlier periods, gold wreaths became much more frequent in the Hellenistic age, probably due in large part to the greatly increased availability of gold in the Greek world following the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great.
Previously undiscovered photo of undocumented Russian Crown Jewels were recently discovered in the USGS library. The photo appear in a 1922 album called “Russian Diamond Fund,” that was uncovered in the rare book room of the library. This diadem was one of the four undocumented jewels.
Extremely Rare Royal Egyptian Silver Diadem, 17th Dynasty c. 1580-1550 BC
This is one of only two known silver Egyptian diadems! It was found at Thebes in the 1820s and is associated with the tomb of Nubkheperre Intef. Both known diadems date to the 17th Dynasty and bear many similarities, not only in terms of material but also in design and manufacture, and were both likely made for a royal personage.
The double uraei – the stylized representation of two sacred cobras, protectors of the royal power in ancient Egyptian art – suggest that the diadem offered here was originally the property of an Egyptian queen: the motif is seen in the early 18th Dynasty Theban tomb of Tetiky, where it appears on the accoutrements of Queen Ahmose-Nefertari. It is also seen in images of Amenhotep III’s queen, Tiye, Akhenaten’s consort, Nefertiti, and Nefertari, wife of Ramesses II. The present diadem, predating these known examples, demonstrates that this tradition was already established in the Second Intermediate Period.
Silver was accessible only to the highest echelons of Egyptian society. Due to the lack of an abundant local source, it was both rarer and more costly, and thus held in higher esteem, than gold. It is likely that the silver used for this extraordinary royal diadem was sourced from beyond the boundaries of the Egyptian world, from the spoils of war or commerce.
Gold diadem of twisted ribbons with a Herakles knot
c.300-280 BC Said to be from the island of Mílos, Aegean Sea
Marking a moment of transition
This unusual and lovely diadem is made up of three long sheets of gold twisted to form ribbons on each side of a Herakles knot. The Herakles knot is found in Greek jewellery from the Mycenaean period, but became particularly popular in the fourth century BC. Its symbolism is closely connected with marriage, and the knot that tied the bride’s garment and was untied by the groom. In many cultures the tying or untying of knots marks moments of transition, whether from maiden to married woman or even from life to death. The untying of knots is also connected with the easing of childbirth.