This is a rather charming ancient Roman intaglio, dating to the 1st century B.C. / A.D. It is finely cut with an image of a dancing satyr, with wine cups. He wears a pardalis (panther skin ) draped over his arm, swirling with movement. The satyr appears to be leaping forward in an ecstatic move, its back arched and head thrown back. A symbol of revelry and wild, hedonistic abandon. This type of gem was popular during the late Republican into the Augustan period, often set in gold signet rings (see here)The gem is intact although has a tiny chip to the lower edge. The back retains some adhesive from a previous remounting, this can easily be cleaned and reset into a ring. Rare and very nice!
DATE: c. 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.
SIZE: 14mm x 11mm x 2mm
WEIGHT: 0.63 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Old Rheinland-Pfalz collection, 1970-1999.
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