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.
This elegant deer is the best known trophy from that famous expedition. The precision of the silhouette, the laconic economy of form gives the figure an extraordinary dynamism and a sense of inner energy and strength.
- Sterling silver; gilded
- 1 1/4 x 1 3/4 in (3 x 2 cm)
- Average weight: 5 grams
- Based on the State Hermitage original