Lot 21: Roman Gold Intaglio Ring with Philosopher's Portrait
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 2nd-3rd century AD. A gold ring with tapering shank, widening at the shoulders to a flat bezel set with a carnelian intaglio engraved with the portrait of a bald philosopher with long beard, possibly Chrysippus. 6.88 grams, 21.76mm overall, 19.40mm internal diameter (approximate size British S 1/2, USA 9 1/2, Europe 20.98, Japan 20) (3/4"). Property of a London gentleman; acquired before 1995. Chrysippus of Soli lived from 279 to 206 BC and was a renowned Stoic philosopher and head of the school in Athens. He excelled in logic, the theory of knowledge, ethics and physics. He created an original system of propositional logic in order to better understand the workings of the universe and role of humanity within it. Chrysippus adhered to a deterministic view of fate, but nevertheless sought a role for personal freedom in thought and action. The stone was examined in detail by Dr. Bonewitz who observed: 'The carnelian is very good quality and the carving is to a very high standard.'
Condition Report: Very fine condition.