Pair of Earrings
On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
Royal tombs near the Silla capital city, Gyeongju, in southeast Korea, have yielded sophisticated gold adornments including crowns and earrings. Elaborate pendants like these were either worn as earrings or suspended from the sides of royal crowns to mimic earrings. Granulation, or decoration with small individual gold beads, is applied to the sheathing of the earrings’ upper segment and used to outline the individual leaf shape of the gold spangles and lower leaves. The technique is thought to have developed in Mesopotamia around the eighteenth century B.C.E. and then spread to the Persian, Greek, and Roman empires, eventually traveling across the great Central Asia trade routes to China and the rest of East Asia. Its diffusion demonstrates the importance of Silk Road trade to East Asian material culture.
Gold, probably over a lacquer core
6th century C.E.
Three Kingdoms period, Silla kingdom
Length of each earring: 3 9/16 in. (9 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Theodora Wilbour and Jane Van Vleck, by exchange and Designated Purchase Fund
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Korean. Pair of Earrings, 6th century C.E. Gold, probably over a lacquer core, Length of each earring: 3 9/16 in. (9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Theodora Wilbour and Jane Van Vleck, by exchange and Designated Purchase Fund, 2013.3a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2013.3a-b_detail1_PS9.jpg)
detail, 2013.3a-b_detail1_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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