Ring with intaglio of a seated male figure holding a serpent twined staff - ROM2010_11689_52

ROM2010_11689_52

Ring with intaglio of a seated male figure holding a serpent twined staff

Medium:Gold set with engraved carnelian
Geography: Mediterranean region
Date: late 1st century BC-early 1st century AD
Period: Roman Imperial period, reign of Augustus
Dimensions:
2.4 cm
Object number: 950X205.21
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East
Description

The flat, oval carnelian in this ring is cut intaglio with the design of a older man seated with his left leg crossed over his right knee. His right hand holds the top of a staff that has a serpent twined around it suggesting the figure is Asclepius god of medicine.

During the Republic, Romans shunned the opulent display of jewellery. Years later, as the Empire was established, vast amounts of gold and a wide array of luxury items poured into Rome from Greece, Asia Minor, and Egypt. Taste now changed, and it became fashionable to wear sumptuous jewellery. At first, the citizens of Imperial Rome preferred jewellery that exhibited very fine workmanship. But by the 2nd century AD, they favoured eye-catching ornaments made from thin sheet gold, and richly embellished with coloured stones and polychrome glass-paste settings.

Collection:
Roman World
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