A Hellenistic Herakles knot pendant, Circa 4th-3rd Century BC


Composed of two sheet gold tubes decorated with scrolls of applied beaded wire, the hollow repoussé lion head terminals with gaping jaws holding gold hoops, with a die-struck gold draped dancing Maenad holding a staff applied to the centre, on the underside two now-flattened short tubes for attachment.

The Herakles knot is a recurrent motif in Hellenistic jewellery, in particular as a centerpiece for necklaces and diadems. As a fertility symbol, it is often associated with blood-red garnets or figures of Eros and dancing Maenads, as demonstrated by this example.