©J. Paul Getty Trust

Causey, Faya. Cat. 22, Pendant: Female Head, Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum
Ed. Faya Causey. Los Angeles: Getty P, 2012. museumcatalogues.getty.edu. Web. 15 December 2018.
<http://museumcatalogues.getty.edu/amber/objects/22/>

Cat. 22, Pendant: Female Head

Italic, 480-450 B.C.
Height: 30 mm; width: 21 mm; depth: 9 mm; Weight: 4.3 g
Gift of Vasek Polak, 83.AO.202.18
Cat. 22 - Female Head
Italic
480-450 B.C.
Height: 30 mm; width: 21 mm; depth: 9 mm
Weight: 4.3 g
83.AO.202.18
Gift of Vasek Polak
Pendants in the Form of the Human Head
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Condition

The pendant is intact but in poor condition. The surface is friable and has suffered many small chips and losses. The tip of the nose is missing. On the reverse, the amber’s surface-layer flaking is particularly severe. A yellow-ocher crust covers most of the surface. Areas with crust losses reveal a more compact and less altered amber beneath, and under transmitted light, additional subsurface cracking is visible. The pendant is opaque and yellow-brown in color in ambient light. Under transmitted illumination, it is translucent and dark red-brown. There are no visible inclusions.

Description

The original amber nodule seems to have determined the form of the pendant. The obverse is more convex, the highest point at the bridge of the nose. The reverse is plain and flat. The asymmetrical, triangle-shaped face tapers from a wide brow to a small, pointed chin. The hair and headdress are wide at the base but narrow at the chin. The holes for suspension are located in the top of the headdress on obverse and reverse. When hung, the head exposes its right profile. The brow is flat above the enormous bulbous eyes. Each eyelid is rendered with two filletlike rims that are the same width both above and below the eyes. They meet at both inner and outer canthi. The eyeballs are on the same plane as the eyelids and bulge as in nature. The glabella is wide. Despite the losses to the nose, its form can be discerned as being short and narrow. The upper lip area is also short and the mouth is small. The lips are rendered as two bars, the upper one set off from the nose by a short groove. Two short vertical grooves, which run from the wings of the nose to the chin line, demarcate the mouth-angle furrow. A slight ridge sets off the thick bangs from the brow. The bangs of the hair continue from the obverse onto the narrow sides; the pattern of the hair is indicated by fine diagonal grooves fanning out from the center. There are neither ears nor neck indicated on this figure. Atop the head is a headdress separated from the hair by a slight ridge. This headdress is made up of four rounded horizontal fillets.

Discussion

This pendant has many features in common with cat. nos. 18–21. For a discussion of 83.AO.202.18 in relationship to other related face and complete head-pendants, see entries for 83.AO.202.4 (cat. no. 18) and 83.AO.202.12 (cat. no. 21).

Cat. 22, Pendant: Female Head

ANCIENT CARVED AMBERS IN THE J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM
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MLA

. Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles: Getty P, 2012. museumcatalogues.getty.edu. Web. 15 Dec. 2018.

Chicago

. In Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum, last modified August 1, 2012, accessed 15 Dec. 2018. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2012. museumcatalogues.getty.edu/amber/.

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