This is an excavated ancient Roman intaglio, dating to the 1st century A.D. The gem is cut with a lively image of Mars (god of War) striding victoriously with a trophy and spear. Originally this gem would have been a vivid blood red jasper, colour of War and Mars. At some point in this object's history, it went through intense heat, similar forensics found on excavated gems from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Thus the gem is chipped and dulled, though a rare veteran survivor from the distant past. Originally this intaglio would have been mounted into a silver signet ring, worn by an officer or Centurian in the imperial army.
DATE: c. 1st century A.D.
SIZE: 14mm x 10mm x 3mm
WEIGHT: 0.62 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. private collection, London
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