Roman Garnet Intaglio of Janus
This is an ancient Roman garnet intaglio, dating to the 2nd - 1st century B.C. It is simply cut with a portrait of the god Janus, of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is depicted here with an older bearded face and a younger bearless face, symbolizing past and future. The gem would have once been set into a gold finger ring, used to seal and authenticate letters. Today it has survived in excellent condition, suitable for remounting.
DATE: c. 2nd - 1st century B.C.
SIZE: 13mm x 9mm x 5mm
WEIGHT: 1.2 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. property of a private collector, Paris