Western Asiatic Gold Swivel Ring with Intaglio Bead

£ 1,850.00

A finely modelled Western Asiatic gold swivel ring featuring a chalcedony scaraboid bead. The ring comprises a hollow-formed U-shaped hoop, with a loop to each finial to accommodate a separate gold bar for the swivel, with a longitudinally pierced scaraboid moss chalcedony gem featuring a fine intaglio image of a dove in flight. The swivel ring is Phoenician and Egyptian in origin and was extremely popular across the Mediterranean basin in Antiquity, with similar items having been found in Cyprus, Greece and Etruria.

UK ring size K ½, Weight 4.42 g.

Date: 1st Millennium BC
Provenance: Ex Abelita family collection, 1970s-2000s; accompanied by an independent specialist report and valuation by graduate gemmologist and jewellery expert Anna Rogers, GIA GG, BA, Gem-A, ref. no. 171789/07/12/2020.
Condition: Extremely fine, suitable for modern wear with care.
Product Code: NES-54
Category: Tags: , ,

Doves were a prominent symbol of Inanna-Ishtar, worshipped as the goddess of warfare, justice, love and fertility and one of the most important female deities in Mesopotamia through the second millennium BC. Doves started being displayed onto cultic objects related to Inanna starting from the beginning of the 3rd Millennium BC. The goddess herself could also be depicted as taking the form of a dove, as a fresco recovered in the temple of Mari in Syria dedicated to the goddess suggests. Interestingly, the ancient Greek word for dove, peristerá, περιστέρα, might have derived from the Semitic phrase peraḥ Ištar, meaning “bird of Ishtar”, and the bird later became associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the ancient Greek counterpart of Ishtar.

To discover more about Intaglios, please visit our relevant blog post: Intaglios: Miniature Masterpieces.

Dimensions L 2.56 cm


Semi-Precious Stone



Near East (Western Asiatic)

Reference: For a similar item, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, item 98.723.

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