JEWELRY OF THE ANCIENTS.
magnificent works in which, the artist-goldsmiths of Asia, Greece, and
Borne displayed their wondrous taste and skill, have utterly perished.
Of their magnificence we can form but an inadequate idea, of their
excellence in point of art the personal decorations of small intrinsic
value yielded to modern discoverers by the Greek and Etruscan tombs,
suffice to give us an example. The sole relic that has escaped the
barbarian spoiler of the lavish splendour of imperial Home is the
Patère de Rennes already described.
exist, however, three monuments which exhibit the Roman art, though in
its most degraded state and as practised by barbarian craftsmen ; and
these both for their rarity and their historical interest are well
deserving of a particular description. They therefore shall be taken in
year 1858 some labourers employed in bringing under cultivation a
deserted cemetery at Fuente di Guerrazzar, two leagues from Toledo,
came upon a deposit of eight crowns and coronets in gold adorned with
gems, the intrinsic value of which is calculated at 2000 l. The whole treasure-trove quickly found its way to Taris, where it was without any needless delay (or reference to ignorant Trustees) secured
by the proper authorities for the Musée de Cluny, of which it now forms
the most interesting feature, being ingeniously displayed to public
inspection within a glass case, accessible on every side.
Of these the most important is the crown of King Reces-winthus (a.d. 653),
a broad circle of fine gold, eight inches in diameter, set with thirty
uncommonly large Pearls, alternating with as many fine Sapphires. This
band is edged with a border above and below, filled with a running
pattern of Greek crosses