c. 1st-5th century AD. Roman. Pair of cameos depicting Medusa facing forward, set into gold earring bezzels with the suspension loop above and a stout gold trapezium below with three strands of colourful beads suspended from it. Cameos became a beautiful and popular element of Roman jewellery, and it was not uncommon for them to feature the gorgon Medusa, shown as a front-facing woman glaring at the viewer, whose inclusion was intended as a means to ward off evil. This pair would have been worn by a wealthy lady. Earrings were very popular among Roman ladies; Pliny posited that women spent more on their ears than any other part of the body.
Size: L:Set of 2: 70mm / W:32mm ; 10g
Provenance: From an old British collection, acquired on the UK art market in the 1990s.