This is an ancient Hellenistic Greek silver signet ring, dating to the 3rd century B.C. It bears a round flat bezel, engraved with a depiction of a temple. Similar signets in gold have been excavated and dated from the 5th century B.C. On this example, the temple is cut with an image of a front facing and seated figure. From classical iconography, this figure appears (to me) to be a representation of the goddess Tyche (Fortuna). She is depicted as enthroned, holding a rudder (to steer the fates of men) in one hand and possibly holding a child (Plutus symbolizing "wealth") or cornucopia (horn of plenty) in the other. She also appears to be wearing a mural crown (another defining attribute of this goddess).
Such depictions of this goddess would have been familiar in temples and shrines throughout the classical world. Tyche had temples at Caesarea Maritima, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople. In Alexandria, the Tychaeon, the temple of Tyche, was described by Libanius as one of the most magnificent of the entire Hellenistic world
It is possible this ring was purchased at one of these temples, worn to attract wealth and good fortune. Today this goddess is still called upon by gamblers in the form of "Lady Luck".
A great looking and wearable signet ring, in excellent excavated condition
OBJECT: Signet Ring
CULTURE: Hellenistic Greek
DATE: c. 3rd century B.C.
RING SIZE: 8 (US) Q (UK)
SIZE: 21mm x 17mm x 4mm (bezel 19mm)
WEIGHT: 2.8 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private collection, Essex. Originally acquired from the European Art Market.
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