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    Ancient Gold and Enamel Work from Cyprus.—Mr. L. H. Dudley Buxton describes in Man for January a remarkably fine piece of ancient gold and enamel work, found, it is said, with two bronze tripods and a fragment of a large bronze vessel by a peasant while digging at Episkopi, the ancient Curium. Unquestionably the bronzes were of Mykenæan age, but it is uncertain what reliance can be placed on the story that all the objects were found together. The object is 17cm. in height and consists of a hollow cylinder of gold surmounted by a cloisonné; sphere, on top of which stand two birds, almost certainly hawks. The cloisons on the sphere are formed by semi-circular bands in rows one above another. The colours are alternating rows of white, lilac, and green. The body feathers of the birds are similar but smaller scales; the wings and other large feathers are indicated by long parallel stripes. Mr. Buxton's descriptive note is followed by a discussion of the dating by Mr. S. Casson. In default of positive evidence the period must be established by technique, colour, design, and style. The object has no parallel. The method of representing and distinguishing the feathers is derived from the East and first appears on Hittite sculpture in a modified form on the Sindjirli sphinxes. It is not found in Egyptian goldwork; but it continues into Hellenic art, mostly in metal-work, and lasts into Byzantine times. The clue to the dating lies in the enamelled scales, which resemble very closely the incised coloured scales common on proto-Corinth-ian pottery. The application of enamel to cloisons in gold jewellery was not uncommon in the sixth, fifth, and fourth centuries B.C., but this example seems the earliest known. It can scarcely be later than the sixth century B.C. and probably belongs to the early part of that century. Prof. J. L. Myres adds a note in which he suggests the possibility of an earlier dating, pointing out the affinities of the treatment of the plumage and the wings, which exhibit features found in Phænician, Hittite, and early Greek work. He recognises, however, that the earlier dating isolates the object as a piece of enamel technique. The object is figured in a coloured plate.

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    Research Items. Nature 129, 171–173 (1932) doi:10.1038/129171a0

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