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COPTIC SPINDLE WHORL (5TH-10TH CENTURY AD)
$12,300

ORIGINAL ANTIQUITY

CLASSICAL · EGYPT

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DESCRIPTION

ORIGINAL COPTIC SPINDLE WHORL (5TH-10TH CENTURY AD) · Amongst the most frequently recovered objects in archaeological findings, spindle whorls are increasingly considered symbolic identity markers for gender. This accessory directly links into the origin of textile, and thus fashion.

Set in 18k gold, finished with malachite and white diamonds. Our choker can be worn with or without its historic pendant.

  • Spindle whorl in ancient bone

  • 18k yellow gold

  • Malachite

  • 2 VVS G grade diamonds, total weight 0.085 carats

Antiquity
Coptic bone spindle whorls

COPTIC SPINDLE WHORL (5TH-10TH CENTURY AD)

Spindle whorls were accessories to spindles, around which wool was twisted and then spun and left to drop, pulling the fibres and creating yarn.

The whorl was attached to the spindle to help control the speed of the process. The weight of the whorl would determine the force applied while the diameter dictated the amount of twists performed during one spin.

The technique of the drop spindle dates back to 5000 BC in the Near East. Ancient spindle whorls have been dug up across all cultures and continents.

Bone was a very common material for spindle whorls in late antiquity, especially in the eastern Mediterranean regions.

The British museum, registration number: 1898,1201.266
The British museum, registration number: 1898,1201.266
Museum of fine arts, Budapest, inventory number: 84.208.A
Museum of fine arts, Budapest, inventory number: 84.208.A
The British museum, registration number: 1986,0320.3.d
The British museum, registration number: 1986,0320.3.d

Acquired as a set of three pieces at an antiquities dealer in London, legally exported under the British and European legislation for export of cultural goods. Authenticity has been certified by C.M., member of the British Treasure Valuation Committee and Deputy Chairman of ADA (Antiquities Dealers Association).

Originally this set was part of the Foxwell family collection, assembled between the 20’s and 40’s, and then passed on by descent.