An Ancient Roman bronze signet ring, featuring a cylindrical band and oval bezel, engraved with a cockerel intaglio. UK ring size K.
Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD Condition: Fine condition. The ring has been repaired; a crack through the middle of the bezel is still visible but the cockerel intaglio remains, and the item is structurally sound. There are some very slight encrustations.
Signet rings were frequently used in antiquity as authentication for documents or correspondence, as distinctive handwritten signatures were not yet commonly used for this purpose. The ring would be pressed into hot wax to seal the document. Cockerels were also a popular choice of imagery for the Romans; they were part of daily life in the empire, with their crows signalling the start of each new day. They were also associated with the messenger god, Mercury, and additionally would be carefully observed by priests and augurs as their behaviour was believed to provide omens. As such, cockerels may also have been associated with divine guidance and good fortune.
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