143. An Eastern Helenistic Engraved Agate Pendant

Bactria, 2nd century BC
Size: 3.2 cm high

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This pod-shaped pendant is engraved with the figure of a kneeling sculptor applying his chisel to the surface of an oval shield. Hardstone pendants are rare during the Hellenistic period in the West when the fashion was for rings. In Central Asia, however, pendants were still wanted, probably because they were more related to the amulets and seals of tradition there.