For both men and women in the Roman world, jewelry functioned as a visible sign of wealth, social standing, and gender. Artists of the time created some works in accord with earlier Hellenistic and Etruscan preferences for the extravagant and conspicuous use of gold. Over time, imperial expansion increased Romans’ access to a variety of valuable materials, leading to a distinctly Roman taste for jewelry incorporating color—typically in the form of gemstones or glass, as seen in these earrings.
Gold balls: Diam.: 2 cm (13/16 in.); H.: 4.5 cm (1 5/16 in.)
Gift of Charles L. Hutchinson
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