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Gold Ring Featuring a Roman Intaglio Depicting the Goddess Minerva - FJ.6591
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 100 AD to 300 AD
Collection: Jewelry
Style: Roman Seal Rings
Medium: Carnelian and Gold

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This Genuine Ancient Seal Has Been Set in a Modern 18 Karat Gold Ring.

The art of glyptics, or carving images on colored precious stones, is probably one of the oldest known to humanity. Intaglios, gems with an incised design, were made as early as the fourth and third millennia B.C. in Mesopotamia and the Aegean Islands. They exhibit a virtuosity of execution that suggests an old and stable tradition rooted in the earliest centuries. The tools required for carving gems were simple: a wheel with a belt-drive and a set of drills. Abrasives were necessary since the minerals used were too hard for a metal edge. A special difficulty of engraving intaglios, aside from their miniature size, was that the master had to work with a mirror image in mind.

The figure of Minerva, the Roman Goddess of Wisdom equated with the Greek Pallas Athena, has been carved onto the polished face of this precious gemstone. She stands wearing her warrior helmet, with her definitive attribute, the aegis (a type of Greek shield) resting at her side. In her left hand, stands a diminutive version of the messenger of the gods, Mercury (known to the Greeks as Hermes). Minerva is one of the most popular and enduring of the entire Classical pantheon. This Roman intaglio proves that she was as equally revered in during the Ancient Roman era as she was during the age of the Greeks. Above all, this seal reveals the absolute mastery of ancient Roman glyptic artists, both in regards to the intricate detailing of the image as well as the arrangement of the composition given the minute confines of the surface. This marvelous ring is symbolic of the divine wisdom of the goddess Minerva. Surely, one who wears this ring demonstrates their own intelligence and appreciation for all things ancient and beautiful. - (FJ.6591)

 

 

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