Intaglio (gem) engraved with Victory writing on a shield - ROM2012_12867_4


Intaglio (gem) engraved with Victory writing on a shield

Medium:Amethyst set in a modern gold mount
Geography: Mediterranean region
Date: about 25 BCE
Period: Roman, early Julio-Claudian period
Ring: 2.5 × 2.1 × 1 cm
Gem: 22.1 × 15.4 mm
Object number: 925.83.6
On view
Gallery Location:Gallery of Greece

The amethyst is engraved with the winged goddess of Victory leaning forward and writing on a shield, recording the military victories of an Emperor (Augustus?).  She is shown in three-quarters back view  as her drapery slips down her backside exposing her body. Both of her legs are slightly bent, the right foot stands firmly on the ground while the left rests on a rock. The workmanship is of the highest quality suggesting that it was carved during the late Hellenistic period to early Julio-Claudian era, from about 50 BC to AD 25.   

This subject matter of Nike or Victory, shown from the back, standing, and writing on a shield, remained popular in all forms of art, during the Hellenistic and Roman eras.

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