Lot 51: Roman Ring with "SPQR" Cameo: NO RESERVE
November 30, 2016
Boston, MA, USALive Auction
Description: Sold without reserve.
Possibly 4th century AD
The cast band fluted at the shoulders joins an oval bezel that holds a cameo displaying four white letters SPQR on a black ground and with a white surround. The four letters stand for Senatus Populusque Romanus (The Senate and People of Rome). Since the first century BC this emblem has been used to refer to the commune of ancient Rome, and it occurs in ancient literature and in the speeches of Cicero. Another ring of the same type is said to have been worn by a Roman officer or senator. The device appeared on Roman coinage throughout the Middle Ages and remains the municipal symbol of Rome to this day.
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Provenance: Private Continental European Collection, c. 2000.
Dimensions: Circumference 57.5 mm.; US size 8.25; UK size Q
Medium: Gold, onyx