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The Etruscan Mystery

September-16-2014








While visiting Paris, my husband and I decided to honor our ritual – a visit to The Louvre Museum. This time, we skipped the paintings and sculptures to concentrate on Egyptian, Iranian, and the Roman, Greek and Etruscan art gallery. As a jewelry designer, I was very interested in seeing the famed Etruscan jewelry with its peculiar granulation technique. And there it was, the head of Achelous, an ancient Greek river deity, whose beard is composed of such tiny granules, I had to put my forehead to the glass display to make sure it was actually composed of small grains.
Even a neophyte will be amazed by the delicate craftsmanship of this piece. This jeweled masterpiece was
crafted in 480 B.C. The Louvre also displays “The Chiusi Fibulae”, remarkable proof of the superior technical skill possessed by Etruscan goldsmiths of the same period. The granulation is a technique that consists in ornamenting the surface of a jewel, usually following a set pattern, with minute spherical drops of pure gold. This technique used by the Etruscans to create such fine granulation been lost long this day and of such delicate interpretation.