Leech-shaped earrings with cluster

Photogallery

Leech-shaped earrings with cluster
Leech-shaped earrings with cluster
Room XII. Bonifacio Falcioni Collection

The earrings, perfectly identical, are made up of a leech-shaped body bordered with beaded wire and decorated with filigree palmettes and spirals; below, a cluster of four hollow spheres is suspended.
These earrings, comparable only with de-contextualised specimens, are linked to the category of so-called “cluster” earrings, typically Etruscan and especially widespread during the fourth century B.C. in various forms. Varied iconographic documentation testifies to their use by women: they are found in architectural and votive terracotta works, mirrors and paintings. The most memorable are the images of Velia Velcha in the Tomb of Orcus I and Velia Seitithi in the Tomb of the Shields in Tarquinia, both adorned with crowns, cluster earrings and necklaces.