ROD-FORMED HEAD PENDANT
ROD-FORMED HEAD PENDANT of Nico F. Bijnsdorp
4th – 3rd century BC. Phoenician or Carthaginian.
H = 3.9 cm. Width = 2.1 cm. Depth = 2.1 cm. W = 15 gr.
Classification: Seefried JGS 1979: Type C.3.
Condition: Intact. Some weathering.
Technique: Rod formed. Tooled and applied elements.
Description: Opaque dark (cobalt) blue ground with yellow and white elements. Pendant of a bearded male face. Face, nose, ears and lips in opaque yellow. Six dark blue spiralling curls above the forehead. Fourteen similar dark blue ringlets forming the beard. Heavy dark blue eyebrows above opaque eyes with white sclera, outlined in dark blue and with dark blue irises. A small opaque white protrusion at the center of the forehead. Dark blue vertical suspension ring on top of the head.
Remarks: Pendants like this one were formed by winding hot glass over a metal rod that was coated with a core of sand and/or clay. Individual elements like the curls for the hair and beard, the eyes, nose ears and mouth were prefabricated spiral ringlets and beads that were pressed into the hot glass of the head. Once the pendant was completed, it was removed from the rod, annealed and the core was scraped out. The earliest types of head pendants were produced in Phoenicia. This head pendant with its expressive features represents one of the most elaborate and beautiful examples of its kind. Its fine workmanship and sophisticated details, combined with the large number of excavated examples in the Phoenician colony of the Punic city of Carthage indicates a Carthaginian workshop rather than a Phoenician one.
Provenance: Spink Galeries des Monnaies, Geneva, 15 February 1977, No. 181a.
Published: Christies 26 April 2012, No. 386.
References: Bianchi 2002, Borowski Collection, Nos. P-33 and P-34., Grose 1989, Toledo Museum, No. 44., Tait 1991, British Museum, No. 47., Kunz 1981, Kunstmuseum Luzern, No. 131.