|4th – 3rd Century B.C
|250 mm x 22 mm, 3,9 gr
|Ex French private collection, acquired before 1990s
|The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession number 74.51.3535. The British Museum Collection Online, Accession number 1877,0910.60, 1877,0910.58 and 1877,0910.77.
In ancient Greek culture, the use of gold funerary diadems was a prominent practice, particularly during the Classical and Hellenistic periods. These diadems were elaborate headpieces made of gold and were often crafted with intricate designs and symbolic elements. They held a significant role in funerary customs, symbolizing the deceased’s elevated status, wealth, and connection to the divine. Gold, as a precious metal, was associated with the gods in Greek mythology, and its use in funerary diadems reflected the belief in an afterlife where the deceased would continue to enjoy divine favor.
The designs of these diadems were diverse, featuring motifs such as floral patterns, mythological scenes, and symbols associated with immortality. The intricate craftsmanship demonstrated the artistic skills of ancient Greek goldsmiths, who employed techniques such as repoussé and filigree to create these exquisite pieces. The diadems were often placed on the deceased during burial or displayed in tombs, serving both as a mark of honor for the departed and as a means to ensure a prosperous journey to the afterlife.