Roman Gilt Bronze Ring with Minerva


An ancient Roman gilt bronze finger ring, formed into a wide-set oval shape. The ring features slightly expanding shoulders and an oval bezel set with a carnelian intaglio. The very fine intaglio depicts the goddess Minerva wearing a helmet and holding a shield in her left hand and a spear in her right. The small size of the ring can be explained by the widespread practice of wearing rings, not only on all the fingers of both hands, but also on the knuckles.

Closest UK ring size: B.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine condition. The surface of the ring is covered with patination and traces of gilding.

In stock

SKU: SK-25 Category: Tags: ,

The ancient Romans enjoyed wearing jewellery, especially rings, as a way to demonstrate their wealth and social status in Roman society. Rings could have been modelled in gold, silver or bronze, and enriched by precious and semi-precious stones, or even glass. The extremely sophisticated technique of engraving of gemstones, known as intaglio, was one of the most luxurious art forms in the Ancient World. Iconographies might have been driven by mythology, literature, theatre or simply everyday life. Minerva was the goddess of war and wisdom. She was also thought to be the goddess of military victory. She is also considered a goddess of handicraft and practical reason.

To discover more on the use of intaglios, please visit our blog post: Engraved Gemstones in Ancient Rome

Weight 16.26 g
Dimensions L 2.5 x W 2 cm



Roman Mythology

Semi-Precious Stones

Reference: For similar: Bonhams Auction House, London, Antiquities, 26th October 2007, lot 284

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