SILVER and INTAGLIO SEAL RING - “Zeus”, Ancient Roman, Circa 1st - 2nd Century AD
An attractive Roman intaglio seal ring in an elaborate silver setting with a detailed carving of Zeus seated, to right, on a low throne, holding a spear and thunderbolt. The image is carved through a band of white stone (probably chalcedony) to reveal the dark amber-colored stone underneath. The elliptical shaped band is characteristic of Roman rings of the 1st – 3rd centuries. This ring is in an excellent state of preservation with some surface toning. The central intaglio is very well carved.
The Signet, or Seal Ring, was significant in Roman society, as it was used in validating serious legal documents by its owner. Intaglios, and engraved or intaglio-cut gems could serve as seals, even while appearing decorative. Cicero mentions them, and Pliny cites that the fashion of wearing signet rings eventually shifted to the little finger. A signet ring was highly representative of the individual who wore it. It was, in effect, his or her signature.
Oval Carnelian Intaglio: 15 x 12 mm, Size: 4 ¼, Weight: 14.47gm