Roman Bronze Ring with Galley Intaglio


A Roman D-shaped bronze ring featuring a raised bezel with an embellished intaglio. The ring features a narrow band which flares outwards at the shoulders to an oval bezel. The bezel holds a glass paste intaglio, consisting of three different colour glass. The prominent colour is a deep green, with a wider band of brown glass down the centre, flanked by two narrow yellow bands. The intaglio is decorated with the image of a large ship, it’s many oars clearly portrayed. Three circular banners can also be seen, resting on top of the ship. The ships stern has been stylised into the curling tail of an animal, whilst the curved prow would also suggest a zoomorphic representation. There is evidence of gilding still visible on the ship’s oars.

Closest UK ring size: L 1/2

Date: Circa 1st-4th century AD
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister; from her collection formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Very fine. Some gilding remains to the glass. Nice patination to the band. Crack through the middle of the glass.


SKU: AH-982 Category: Tags: ,

This particular image was a popular one. Numerous examples of Roman intaglios and denarii all showcase the Roman galley with its hoard of oars and proud standards. The imagery evokes the great maritime power of the Republic and the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. It is also quite possible that the ring, based on it’s material, belonged to a sea-faring individual, who used the ring as a seal.


Weight 3.16 g
Dimensions W 1.9 cm





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