This is an ancient Roman silver intaglio ring, dating to the 2nd - 3rd century AD. It is set with its original sard intaglio, cut with a representation of a wine Krater. The intaglio would have acted as a private signature, to authenticate letters and transactions. The Krater would signify the owner's fondness for wines and Bacchanalian revelry.
This is a Henig type III finger ring and can be compared to a number of silver rings from a 2nd-century jeweller's hoard found at Snettisham, Norfolk (Johns 1997: 95 - 99). At least three of the Snettisham rings also had intaglios depicting Fortuna holding a rudder (ibid. 89, nos. 154 - 156). The fact that the intaglio protrudes above the setting is unusual: in most cases the top of the gem is flush with the surface of the ring (Johns 1996: 42).
Today this ancient ring has survived intact and in untouched condition, it will be suitable for considerate wear if one so chooses.
OBJECT: Intaglio Ring
DATE: c. 2nd - 3rd century AD
MATERIAL: Silver & sard gemstone
RING SIZE: 5 1/4 (US) K 1/4 (UK)
SIZE: 20mm x 20.5mm x 12.9mm (intaglio 9.4mm x 7.3mm)
WEIGHT: 6.02 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Charles Fraser collection, London.
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