PERIOD: 5th Century BC
MATERIAL: Ivory and gold
DIMENSIONS: Diameter 8.2 cm.
PRICE: 3,500 Euros
PROVENANCE: Private collection of H.M., Brussels. Acquired in the 1970s.
CONDITION: The ivory has suffered from some fracturing and flaking, but has been professionally restored without additions being made.
This is a delicate circular lid made of ivory with floral details engraved on it through incisions. A small semi-sphere projects in the centre covered with a fine lamina of gold. Twelve petals, imitating those of a flower, spread out from the centre covering the whole of the lid. The entire edge is decorated with a border of double curving lines between which there is a band of small petals sloping at an angle.
By comparison with similar pieces we can deduce that it is a lid or base of a recipient intended for female cosmetics, probably by a wealthy person in the Greek period. This would most surely be from a funerary context, as pieces of well-preserved ivory like this have only been found in tombs, as part of the grave goods.