©J. Paul Getty Trust

Causey, Faya. Cat. 43, Pendant: Ram’s Head, Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum
Ed. Faya Causey. Los Angeles: Getty P, 2012. museumcatalogues.getty.edu. Web. 18 February 2019.

Cat. 43, Pendant: Ram’s Head

Italic or Etruscan, 500-450 B.C.
Length: 32.5 mm; width: 19 mm; depth: 15 mm; Weight: 5.3 g
Gift of Gordon McLendon, 77.AO.81.13
Cat. 43 - Ram’s Head
Italic or Etruscan
500-450 B.C.
Length: 32.5 mm; width: 19 mm; depth: 15 mm
Weight: 5.3 g
Gift of Gordon McLendon
Rams’ Heads
Related Objects... Ram


The pendant is largely intact, although there are several small old chips at the throat, on the back, and on the rear and bottom of the left horn; there is a modern chip in the right horn. Each upper eyelid has small chip losses. A section of the suspension device on the right side was broken off and reglued before entry into the Getty Museum. There is some loss associated with this area. The surface was apparently treated with a consolidant, such as amber oil. The surface has ocher-colored degradation material in interstices and particularly on the throat. The amber is a dull red-brown except for the shiny areas of the exposed fractured inner surface, which show the material’s transparency. In transmitted light, the pendant is dark red. The only visible inclusion is in the fissure that rises to the surface at the back.


The pendant is almost tubular. The horns do not rise higher than the poll, and they curve out timidly. The muzzle is somewhat squared off. The eye sockets are hollowed. The broad, flat nose has a ridgeline across its tip, much in the way that the nostrils of some pre-Roman amber lions are indicated (see, for example, 77.AO.81.10; cat. no. 36). The line extending from the inner canthus alongside the length of the nose is clearly indicated. The underside of the chin is flat. The upper lip puffs out slightly on both sides of the mouth.

The poll rises between the base of the horns from a shallow but broad V-shaped incision centered on the forehead; it then spreads outward, curling around and behind the eyes. A pattern of minute, shallow, cross-hatched incisions define the fleece across the forehead and on the cheeks. Shallow, regular incisions circle the horn. The surface is smooth from the point of the ear to the tip of the horn.

A 1.5 mm perforation runs through the suspension device, which is decorated with a bead-and-reel design.


This pendant has no close parallel.

Cat. 43, Pendant: Ram’s Head

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Other objects by index term... Ram
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. Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles: Getty P, 2012. museumcatalogues.getty.edu. Web. 18 Feb. 2019.


. In Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum, last modified August 1, 2012, accessed 18 Feb. 2019. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2012. museumcatalogues.getty.edu/amber/.

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