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Causey, Faya. Cat. 24, 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/24/>

Cat. 24, Pendant: Female Head

Italic, 500-480 B.C.
Height: 48 mm; width: 28 mm; depth: 12 mm; Weight: 5 g
82.AO.161.7
Cat. 24 - Female Head
Italic
500-480 B.C.
Height: 48 mm; width: 28 mm; depth: 12 mm
Weight: 5 g
82.AO.161.7
Pendants in the Form of the Human Head
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Condition

The pendant’s top proper right quarter was broken and reglued in modern times from three fragments. On the obverse are a number of both old and modern small chips: at the perforation, on the left and right sides of the face, and at the top and right sides of the head. On the reverse is a fissure. The lack of detail on the prominent surfaces of the face strongly suggests use wear. There is a scattered, spotty, yellow-ocher degradation overall, with some associated surface pitting. The amber is friable in the vicinity of breaks. The amber is opaque and yellow-orange in ambient light. Under transmitted light, it is translucent and dull red. With the exception of the material in the fissure, there are no visible inclusions.

Description

This frontal face of a female figure is concave on the obverse and flat on the reverse. The figure is wearing a high soft hat and a veil and has straight bangs. The visible section of the brow is short and broad. There are no indications of ears. The widely spaced large eyes are flat and almond-shaped and are bounded by rims composed of thick fillets. The nose is broad and snubbed. All that remains of the mouth are two grooves. Nevertheless, it is clear that the upper lip hung over the lower one. The jaw is squarish and the chin pointed. Above the brow are straight bangs with vestiges of vertical striations. The softly rounded high hat has a turnup indicated by two parallel engraved lines. A veil covers the hat and ears but not the bangs.

Because of the eroded surface of this piece, no tool marks are visible. A suspension perforation was drilled laterally through the top of the piece. When suspended, the back is perpendicular to the ground. The head tilts forward, the chin is close to the neck, and the eyes appear downcast.

Discussion

82.AO.161.7 wears a costume similar to that of many other amber head-pendants; however, her hat is rather more rounded on top than most. In form and its manner of hanging, the frontal face is akin to a face from a tomb at Kompolje, Croatia.[1] In style, it is similar to the three well-preserved heads from the tomb. The profile relates it to a head-pendant from Tomb 2 at Tolve.[2]


Footnotes

  1. For the ambers from the Kompolje tomb, see R. Bižiž-Drechsler in Vjesnik Arheološkog Muzeja u Zagrebu ser. 2, no. 2 (1961): 109–13, pls. XXVIII–XXIX; and Mastrocinque 1991, p. 134, fig. 82, pl. VII.14.

  2. For the Tolve head-pendant, see Magie d’ambra 2005, p. 115.

Cat. 24, 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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