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This is an ancient Roman intaglio, dating to the 3rd century A.D. It is simply cut with a standing figure of the god Mercury (Hermes), standing naked wearing a petasos, whilst holding a bag on monies and a caduceus wand. Mercury was the god of shopkeepers and merchants, travelers and transporters of goods. He is commonly identified with the Greek Hermes, the fleet-footed messenger of the gods. Such an intaglio would have originally been set into an iron or silver ring, used as a private signature to seal letters and transactions.
DATE: c. 3rd century A.D.
SIZE: 10mm x 8mm x 2mm
WEIGHT: 0.18 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Old Rheinland-Pfalz collection, 1970-1999.