Scythian jewelry is one of the symbols of the Hermitage and caused an international sensation when displayed. At the root of the collection lie pieces found during archeological excavations that have been going on for over 150 years in the many burial mounds in the Kuban, the Dnieper region and the Crimea. This wonderful collection was initiated by Peter the Great, who issued a verbal decree in 1715 to "seek out ancient things". There is a remarkable story behind Scythian finds in the 20th century. Archeologists were looking in a number of burial mounds that had already been raided and were losing hope of success. They then stumbled upon two secret stashes of untouched masterpieces of Scythian culture which are now, rightly, the pride of the museum. The Hermitage collection houses many works in the Scythian animal style, which is one of the most original and distinctive phenomena of the pagan ancient world.
These copies of a famous golden plaque have captured the elegance of the panther and the captivating glitter of Scythian gold. The original belonged to a Scythian leader in the 6th century BC and was part of Peter the Great's celebrated "Siberian Collection". Cufflinks with an image of the Scythian masterpiece will make a wonderful gift, and convey a message of impeccable taste on the part of their wearer.
- Sterling silver; gilded and enamelled
- 5/8 x 5/8 in (1.6 x 1.6 cm)
- Average weight: 9 grams
- Based on the State Hermitage original