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This is an ancient Roman agate hardstone cameo of emperor Hadrian, dating to the early 2nd century A.D. The cameo is cut on a white layer of the agate, against a grey background of a veined agate. Being an ancient gem it bears traces of burial, with a crack to the base. Such a gem would have once been set into a gold finger ring, worn to convey patronage to the emperor, either bestowed as a gift or awarded.
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138 A.D. In Britain, he is known for the construction of the Wall, known as Hadrian's Wall.
This ancient gem bears an old collection label on the back, this appears to be at least 18th century (Georgian) and as yet unresearched.
DATE: c. 2nd century A.D.
SIZE: 15mm x 11mm x 6mm
WEIGHT: 1.20 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection