Ancient Roman Hardstone Sardonyx Cameo
This is an ancient Roman hardstone cameo, dating to the 2nd - 3rd century A.D. The cameo utilized a pale cream colour of the gem for the toga of the sitter, presumably the original owner or an emperor? The cameo is nicely cut and small enough to be mounted into a gold finger ring. Such jewels were highly collected by Roman aristocracy, the wearing of cameos served to emphasize wealth and taste, with little other use (unlike intaglios used for sealing).
DATE: c. 2nd - 3rd century A.D.
SIZE: 13mm x 10mm x 4mm
WEIGHT: 0.9 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a New York Collection, previously the property of a German collector.