ROMAN BANDED AGATE RING WITH INTAGLIO OF PERSEUS
Italy, c. 1st century BC (intaglio); c. 1800 (mount)
Gold and agate
Weight 4.1 gr.; circumference 44.7 mm., dimensions of bezel 22 x 15.7 mm.; US size 3.25; UK size F ¾
The flat oval intaglio in brown and white banded agate is set in an open frame with grooved surrounding. In shallow relief, it shows Perseus standing naked in three-quarter view and loosely draped with a cloak. In his right hand, he holds the head of Medusa and in his left the sword; his shield rests at his feet. Widening at the shoulders, the hoop is plain on the interior and grooved along the exterior.The type is derived from a Greek statue by Myron of the fifth century BC. The mount of the ring is of approximately the same date as a marble sculpture of Perseus in a similar pose by Antonio Canova (1757–1822), acquired by Pope Pius VII (1742–1823), and today in the Vatican Museum.