An exceptional Ancient Roman gold chain ring embellished with a dark red carnelian intaglio. The loose chain, attached to the bezel through loops, acts as the shank. The oval bezel is sided by two flat gold sheet loops and framed by a row of fine granulation. It features a carnelian stone with an intaglio of an armed male figure, possibly the Roman god of war Mars. The standing figure is wearing a helmet and holding a lance and shield. The finely cut and detailed intaglio of Mars must have had a personal significance for the wearer. Given the large size of the ring, and also the subject of the intaglio it was most likely worn by a man. UK ring size Z.
Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD Condition: Very fine, suitable for modern wear with care.
Intaglio rings were a popular style of jewellery in Ancient Rome and have been uncovered across the full geographic extent of the former Roman Empire. The nature of their individual production meant that designs and details show a wide variety, though there are common themes, such as certain gods, which were especially popular, though more earthly themes also appear regularly. In Ancient Roman mythology Mars was the god of war as well as an agricultural guardian. He was especially important to the Romans because he was regarded as the mythical father of the founder and first king of Rome, Romulus.
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