Ancient Roman Gold Ring with Intaglio of Jupiter

£ 2,250.00

An extremely fine Ancient Roman high karat, solid gold finger ring, featuring an oval shape, slightly expanding shoulders, and an oblong oval bezel set with a cabochon carnelian intaglio. The intaglio depicts the carved image of the Ancient Roman god Jupiter, shown in profile, wearing a long tunic and a band in his hair, leaning onto a column and holding an eagle in his left hand. A very detailed intaglio, making this ring a very fine example of Ancient Roman jewellery making. UK ring size J 1/2. Weight: 4.44 g.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd Century AD
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker Collection, a retired London barrister, formed early 1960s – 1990s.
Condition: Extremely fine, light signs of wear to the gold. The ring is suitable for modern wear with care.


Product Code: RES-172
Category: Tags: ,

The term intaglio refers to a small image that has been engraved into a gemstone and usually set in a piece of jewellery, most commonly a ring. Such artistic form has its origin in Sumer in the 4th millennium BC, with the appearance of cylinder and stamp seals, whereby decorations and patterns were engraved into soft stones. During the Hellenistic period and the early Roman Empire, the art of intaglio reached its apogee, with there being a steady decline in craftsmanship in the late Imperial Rome, until a revival of interest with the Byzantine and during the Renaissance.

In both Greek and Roman mythology, the eagle, held in Jupiter’s hand in this intaglio, served as his own personal messenger, and it is said to have carried the young Ganymede, whom Jupiter was besotted with, to Mount Olympus, where he served as the gods’ cupbearer. Ancient Roman author Pliny the Elder also describes the eagle as one of the signa militaria, the military symbols employed by the Romans. As a symbol of Jupiter’s authority, an eagle would be set free during the consecration of an emperor. By flying up into the air, it was believed that the eagle would carry the soul of the deified emperor to the heavens, hence securing him a position amongst the gods.

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

Dimensions L 1.9 x W 2 cm

Southern Europe



Semi-Precious Stone


Roman Mythology


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