Early Roman Ring with Garnet Intaglio
Heavy little gold ring made of sheet metal with wide hoop, flat on the interior and rounded on the exterior, widening toward the shoulder. The hoop expands into a high bezel that tapers to the garnet intaglio. Carved into the high convex surface is a stylized female head in left profile with hair tied back in a knot. The ring shows signs of age and is in good, wearable condition.
The fashion of wearing gold rings and jewelry with garnet gemstones goes back to the Hellenistic period and remained popular in early Roman times when this ring was made. The high bezel is characteristic of rings from this period as is the woman’s hairstyle depicted in the intaglio. A similar ring in gold with a sard intaglio as well as a second ring of iron and garnet are in the Alice and Louis Koch Collection, today in the Landesmuseum, Zurich. See: Chadour 1994, vol. I, nos. 142 and 143 with further examples. For variations of the type, see: Chadour 1994, vol. I, nos. 39-40.