Ancient Roman Ring with Green Jasper Intaglio of Apollo

£ 4,500.00

An Ancient Roman ring featuring a circular hoop and unadorned oval bezel. A green jasper with red speckles intaglio has been placed in the gold bezel frame. The stone is finely carved with the image of Apollo facing right with one arm placed on the hip and the other holding a bow, one of his identifying features. He is portrayed naked and youthful, his broad muscles and bold facial features intricately engraved. At his feet lies a lyre, leaned against a pillar, further indicating his identity as Apollo. He wears a fine cape, draped over the shoulders down to calf length, which accentuates his confident pose.

Closest UK ring size: Larger than a Z ring size, Diameter 2.4cm, Circumference 7.5cm

Date: Circa 3rd - 4th Century AD
Condition: Good condition, some signs of wear to the gold consistent with age, few minor imperfections to the ring.

In stock

SKU: SM-41 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. During the Hellenistic period and the early Roman Empire, the art of intaglio reached its apogee, with there being a steady decline in craftsmanship in the late Imperial Rome, until a revival of interest with the Byzantine and during the Renaissance.

The subject used for intaglios are diverse, with depictions of deities being a favourite theme. Apollo, who was known to the Romans as Phoebus, was one of the most important deities in the Graeco-Roman canon. He was the god of oracles, healing, the sun, and poetry among other attributes. His multivalent nature, importance, and prevalence in mythology means that he was a popular deity both for worship and for artistic interpretation. He was the son of Zeus and Leto, and was a twin with Artemis (goddess of the hunt). He had key sanctuaries at Delos and Rhodes – with Rhodes being famous for one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. He is often portrayed with a symbolic bow, showing death, terror and awe, whilst his gentler side is represented with the lyre which he proclaimed joy through music, poetry and dance.


To find out more about intaglios and Roman gods, please visit our relevant blogs: Engraved Gemstones in Ancient Rome and Roman Gods in Mythology.

Weight 4.0 g
Dimensions L 3.1 x W 2.7 x H 1.7 cm


Semi-Precious Stones

Roman Mythology


Reference: For Similar: British Museum, intaglio; finger-ring, object 1913,0307.57

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