Hellenistic Ptolemaic Silver Ring with Profile of Queen as Isis

£ 450.00

A Hellenistic-Ptolemaic solid silver ring, featuring a D-shaped hoop, expanding shoulders, and an oval bezel displaying the high-relief depiction of a female figure. The figure is portrayed in profile, facing left, wearing a stephane and with her hair arranged in curls, possibly wearing a wig. Although the identity behind the figure remains a mystery, the figure might be identified with the Egyptian goddess Isis or with a Ptolemaic queen, possibly Arsinoe II or Berenice II, portrayed in the guise of the goddess Isis. Uk ring size: M. Weight: 14.2 g.

Date: Circa 2nd Century BC
Period: Hellenistic-Ptolemaic
Condition: Extremely fine; the ring is suitable for modern wear with care.


Product Code: ES-117
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Queen Berenice is one of the most famous figures of Antiquity, made immortal by the poets Callimachus and Catullus, who told the story of ‘Berenice’s Lock’. According to this story, Berenice vowed to sacrifice her long hair as a votive offering if her husband Ptolemy III returned safely from battle. She dedicated her locks to and placed them in the temple at Cape Zephyrium in Alexandria, where the queen Arsinoe II was worshipped as Aphrodite. By the next morning the locks had disappeared. The court astronomer identified a new starts constellation in the sky, as the missing hair, claiming that the goddess Aphrodite herself had placed Berenice’s hair in the sky as an acknowledgement of Berenice’s sacrifice. The constellation is known to this day as Coma Berenices, translating from the Latin as ‘Brenice’s Lock’. This story was used by the Ptolemaic court as propaganda, emphasising the connection between Berenice and the goddess Isis in her role as goddess of rebirth.

Dimensions W 2 cm
Egyptian Mythology





North Africa, Southern Europe

Reference: For a similar item,The J. Paul Getty Museum, item 81.AN.76.207.

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