Roman Gold Ring with Garnet Intaglio of Apollo

£ 4,750.00

An Ancient Roman gold ring featuring a slightly angular hoop with richly decorated shoulders. Thin sheets of gold spring from them, curling outwards and forming a delicate pattern reminiscent of foliage. The ring is further adorned with four gold granules, evenly spaced around the large oval bezel. This is set with a deep-red garnet intaglio, finely engraved with the laureate head of Apollo facing left. The god is portrayed as a beardless young man, with long curls falling down his neck and resting on his shoulders.

Closest UK ring size G.

Date: Circa 1st - 3rd Century AD
Provenance: Ex. Japanese gentleman (deceased) collection, 1970 - 2015.
Condition: Fine condition, some signs of wear consistent with age and earthy encrustations remain on the surface. The gold frame containing the intaglio has been laser soldered to secure it to the ring.

In stock

SKU: MG-245 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 Aretmis (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.

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

Weight 6.9 g
Dimensions L 2.2 x W 1.7 cm



Semi-Precious Stones

Roman Mythology

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