Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Esq., Honorary Degree 19261923.35
This gold cable bracelet demonstrates the exceptional skill of ancient Mediterranean craftsmen, particularly in its exemplification of granulation. This term refers to the process of attaching tiny balls of metal—typically gold—to another surface, often an object of personal adornment such as a fibula, earrings, or bracelet. Although this work was produced during the Hellenistic period, archaeological evidence suggests that granulation was implemented as early as 2500 BCE and encountered in Mesopotamian tombs. Nineteenth-century excavations sparked inspiration among craftsmen who began emulating this artistic approach in their own contemporary works.
As a work of gold, the materiality of this bracelet reinforces its worth, already expressed by its artistic complexity. In the ancient world, the incorruptibility of gold was perceived as spiritually significant and often paralleled to the nature of gods in mythology as a physical manifestation of an intangible concept. This characteristic of gold enables the bracelet to appear to viewers today as it would have at the time of its creation, an experience that is not particularly common when examining works from the ancient world. Edward Perry Warren’s many complementary donations of gems, cameos, and jewelry underscore his interest in luxury items and the leisure culture of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Before 1923, collection of Edward Perry Warren; 1923, gifted to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art by Edward Perry Warren.
A testament to his impact as an influential twentieth-century American antiquities collector, Edward Perry Warren’s (1860–1928, H ’26) name is linked to hundreds of ancient objects housed in institutions across the United States, including more than five hundred works at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art alone.