An Ancient Greek crown dating to 300 BC has recently been discovered in a pensioner’s cottage in Dorset. The finely worked crown takes the form of a myrtle wreath, and is believed to have been brought to the UK by the current owner’s grandfather who travelled extensively throughout Greece during the 1940s and 50s. Coming to auction in early June, it is thought that the crown will achieve in excess of £100,000 when it goes under the hammer.
Dating to the Hellenistic era, gold wreaths of this type were meant to imitate the wreaths of real leaves that were worn throughout Ancient Greece at religious ceremonies and awarded as prizes at athletic and artistic contests. Gold wreaths were often dedicated to Gods in sanctuaries or placed in the graves of royal or aristocratic people as funerary offerings.
The Hellenistic era was a particularly prosperous and progressive period in Ancient Greece, and is often characterised by cultural and technological advancements. Alexander the Great’s conquests in to the East meant that vast new territories were gained, bringing with them mineral wealth in the form of gold. The increased availability of gold meant that jewelers grew more accomplished and experimental with their techniques. Designs inspired by nature, including zoomorphic and naturalistic forms were particularly popular during this period.
Coming up for auction on the 9th of June, it is impossible to say what sum this rare and beautiful piece will achieve – although it will certainly be in six figures. In the meantime, why not browse through our own collection of Ancient Greek jewellery?