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Diadem Fit for an Assyrian Queen

by Susi, 8 December 2008

Ancient gold \

I stumbled on this stunning diadem, excavated from a royal tomb at Nimrud in Iraq, where it was discovered near the remains the queen’s skull. Its technical sophistication and fine workmanship are unbelievable. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of gold ornament I have ever seen or heard of. Elegant. Lavish, yet not excessively so. Tastefully lavish.

What most piqued my interest, however, were the tabular “eye” agates. I used to have a ring by Jean-Francois Fichot, mounted with a similar stone, perhaps originating from the same period and region. Sadly, it deteriorated with constant wear, and I have been hoping to restore the ring, but haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement for the stone.

Another noteworthy feature for me is the fine knitting using gold wire. Crocheted or knitted wire ornament is also a tradition here in Indonesia, and I have seen numerous old and contemporary knitted wire artefacts from various island cultures. More on this tomorrow.

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