This is an ancient Roman gold intaglio ring dating to the 3rd century AD. This example is still set with the original intaglio in a blue/black glass paste, imitating a rare and coveted Nicolo onyx. The gem is set within an octagonal box-shaped bezel, still secured with the original cement and rubbed over setting. The shoulders are delicately sculpted with raised and curled/fluted design. The band is intact and is perfectly wearable today. The intaglio depicts a crouching Hare, with long ears and a brown/black appearance due to the colour of the gem. The libidinous hare was sacred to Aphrodite and Eros (Venus and Cupid), and live hares were often presented as love gifts - long ago this ancient ring may have been one such gift!
OBJECT: Finger Ring
DATE: c. 3rd century AD
MATERIAL: Gold and glass (Nicolo paste)
RING SIZE: 4 (US) H 1/2 (UK)
SIZE: 19mm x 23mm x 2mm (bezel 12mm x 11mm x 5mm)
WEIGHT: 5.75 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private collection, West Sussex. UK.
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