Female Head in Profile

20. Pendant: Female Head in Profile

Accession Number83.AO.202.6
Date425–400 B.C.
DimensionsHeight: 51 mm; width: 51 mm; depth: 15.5 mm; Weight: 23.3 g
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–1983, Antike Kunst Palladion (Basel, Switzerland); 1983, Vasek Polak, 1914–97 (Hermosa Beach, CA), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.


The pendant is in extremely poor condition. The lower parts of the face (and possibly the neck) are missing. A break, perhaps ancient, starts at the middle of the lower eyelid, and losses include the nose, mouth, and chin. There are many other large losses and chips all over the pendant. The surface is friable, with deeply cracked and pitted weathering layers. A thick yellow-ocher crust covers much of the surface. The pendant is opaque and yellow-brown in ambient light except at the breaks, where the amber is red. In transmitted light, it is translucent and red. There are no observable inclusions.


This fragmentary pendant represents a female head in profile to the left. On the obverse, the relatively flat piece of amber is figured, and on the reverse, plain. Despite the condition of the piece, many engraved lines are still visible. A large hole in the area of the jaw is likely a stopped bore. Some features remain legible. The brow is wide and smooth. Below this, a large, almond-shaped eye is set off by two engraved lines indicating lids. At the top are bangs described with parallel vertical striations. There is a rounded protrusion at the area of the ear, perhaps an ear and earring.

The two parallel engraved lines at the front of the hat represent the rim of the hat, either a flat turnup or a rounded roll-up. The cap is rounded at the top and more oblong at its back.


See (cat. no. 18) and (cat. no. 19).