Ancient Roman Rock Crystal Intaglio of a Galley


An Ancient Roman rock crystal intaglio carved with the depiction of a galley. The ship features a large billowing sail along with a row of oars. The ships stern has been stylised into the curling tail of an animal, whilst the curved prow would also suggest a zoomorphic representation.  The intaglio comes with a museum quality impression.

Date: Circa 1st - 3rd Century AD
Provenance: From the collection of a Swiss gentleman, formed in Europe from the 1970's - 1980's. Thence by descent from the family in London
Condition: Very fine condition. There is some residue in the details of the engraving and some hairline cracks in the crystal.

In stock

SKU: MJ-78 Category: Tags: ,

The term intaglio refers to a small image that has been engraved into a gemstone and usually set in a piece of jewellery, most commonly a ring. Such artistic form has its origin in Sumer in the 4th millennium BC, with the appearance of cylinder and stamp seals, whereby decorations and patterns were engraved into soft stones. Numerous examples of Roman intaglios and denarii all showcase the Roman galley with its hoard of oars and proud standards. Galleys were a specialised wartime ship and heavily relied on the multitude of oars for movement. The imagery evokes the great maritime power of the Republic and the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.

Weight 1.0 g
Dimensions L 1.9 x W 1.1 cm

Semi-Precious Stones


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