Lot 26: Roman Gold Ring with Cameo
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 3rd-4th century AD. A gold ring with tapering shank, slightly angled at the shoulders which have openwork pelta design; bezel set with onyx cameo with bust of woman with hair pulled back into a bun. 8 grams, 24.12mm overall, 20.74mm internal diameter (approximate size British W, USA 11, Europe 25, Japan 24) (1"). From a private collection; formed 1965-1975. Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate. Cameos first became popular during the Hellenistic period and continued to flourish under the Roman Empire with a mixture of images mostly comprising religious symbolism or busts of private individuals and members of the Imperial family. Cameos were produced with the same basic tools and techniques as intaglios, though inverted, that is to say by cutting away excess stone around the image to create a raised relief. The time and effort needed to carve a cameo is considerably greater than that required to produce an intaglio, not just because more stone must be cut away but also in fashioning a cameo in relief there is considerably less surface contact between the rotating circular tool and the convex surface of the gem.
Condition Report: Very fine condition. A large wearable size.