Gold diadem of twisted ribbons with a Herakles knot
Said to be from the island of Mílos, Aegean Sea
Marking a moment of transition
This unusual and lovely diadem is made up of three long sheets of gold twisted to form ribbons on each side of a Herakles knot. The Herakles knot is found in Greek jewellery from the Mycenaean period, but became particularly popular in the fourth century BC. Its symbolism is closely connected with marriage, and the knot that tied the bride’s garment and was untied by the groom. In many cultures the tying or untying of knots marks moments of transition, whether from maiden to married woman or even from life to death. The untying of knots is also connected with the easing of childbirth.
Source: British Museum
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Photographed by Toni Frissell, Vogue, December 15, 1938