• latw-175-1
    Necklace with acorn pendants, from Toptepe. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Necklace with acorn pendants, from Toptepe

Late sixth or early fifth century BC, Late Lydian (Persian)
Uşak, Archaeological Museum, 1.82.96
Inventory No.
Gold, Stone, Glass
Object Type
Metalwork, Jewelry and Ornaments
Metalwork Type
Toptepe Tumulus
The necklace is composed of twenty floral beads and eighteen plain beads with acorn pendents. Each floral bead is decorated with two six-petal rosettes that radiate from perforations at opposite ends of the bead and make contact at the petal tips. The petals are segmented, with hatched borders; some have a central line of stippling, others have a plain raised centers. The quadrangular spaces between petals contain smaller rosettes each with four hatched petals. Granulation spheres ring each perforation and accent the tips and junctures of petals in the six-petal rosettes and the centers of the four-petal rosettes. Each plain bead is connected to an acorn by a short cylindrical stem made of gold sheet which has a molding at either end and which is soldered to bead and acorn. The acorn cups have incised cross-hatching and beaded wire at the rims. Of the surviving fifteen acorn nuts, ten are gold, three are opaque red glass (one partly blackened), and two are blue glass (of which the outer end of one is missing). The remaining three caps have no nuts, but two of these contain a green glass substance which is apparently the filling of the gold nuts. The glass nuts have gold tips in the form of a flat collar around a hemispherical boss, surrounded by a circle of beaded wire, and attached by a pin inserted into the perforated nut.

Acorns were common motifs in jewelry and other sumptuary arts of the Greek world. There are well-known 6th and 5th century examples from Anatolia. Gold acorn pendants were found at Gordion in cremation burial A, dating to the third quarter of the 6th century BC. From Tumulus B4 (dated to 530-510 BC) at Bayındır in northern Lycia were recovered silver acorn pendants. An ivory female figure from Tumulus D at Bayındır, of an early, probably 7th century date, is believed to be depicted wearing an acorn necklace, as is the girl holding the hand of a second ivory figurine from the same tumulus. A similar necklace can be seen on a kore from Sardis. Glass acorns are not common; a mid 4th century BC glass acorn pendant in the British Museum (GR 1857.12-20.43) came from the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos. Simpler plain bead-and-acorn pendant ensembles were made from punches like Özgen and Öztürk 1996, nos. 201 and 202. Analogous floral beads also occur on the hippocamp brooch (Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 112) and on a necklace with seed-like pendants from the so-called Tomb of the Carian Princess at Halikarnassos, of a late 5th or 4th century date. The treatment of the petals is similar to that of seed-like pendants from the Great Blitznitza tomb group, also of a later date. A remarkable unprovenanced parallel is a necklace in the Batya and Elie Borowski collection in Jerusalem which has beech-nut pendants comparable to those of necklace Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 133, and large floral beads virtually identical to those of the acorn necklace Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 108. From each floral bead is suspended a triad of chains which have terminals very similar to those of the hippocamp brooch, Özgen and Öztürk 1996 no. 112. The necklace has been dated to the 4th century BC although the criteria for this are not clear, and one might be tempted to propose an earlier date on the evidence of the Uşak-Güre comparisons” (Özgen and Öztürk 1996). Length 0.443 m, height of acorns 0.033 m, 0.035 m, and 0.039 m, weight 141.1 g.

From the Toptepe Tumulus.
Özgen, “Lydian Treasure”; Meriçboyu, “Lydian Jewelry”
Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 108; Meriçboyu 2001, 101-106.