jewelry is art

Vulture Headdress Inlay, gold and semi-precious stones. Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332-30 BC.

The vulture headdress was worn by goddesses and queens. This inlay in the form of a vulture headdress has more than 100 stones, lapis lazuli (dark blue), turquoise (light blue), petrified wood (red), and an unidentified white stone painstakingly cut to shape and separated by thin plates of gold. Body, wing, and tail feathers are carefully distinguished in minute detail, height: 3 cm width: 2.75 cm. Now in the Cleveland Museum of Arts, Ohio.

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Chinese hair ornament, thought to have been worn by the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908).  Made from gilded copper alloy worked into phoenix-shapes, decorated with pearls, other gemstones, and kingfisher feathers.  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.