A Gold Seal Ring with "Good Luck" Intaglio, Roman, ca 1st century BCE/CE
A mosaic glass intaglio with mostly dark glass and one single white band that bisects the ovular intaglio. The intaglio depicts a clenched hand with an extended thumb grasping an upright cornucopia. Individual fingers are visible on the hand that extends from a cuffed wrist. Nondescript libation is shown protruding from and around the cornucopia, symbolizing bountiful wealth and prosperity. The intaglio is in a contemporary setting of high carat gold, the style dating the piece to the first century BC/AD.
Mosaic glass objects were manufactured using a laborious and time-consuming technique. Multicolored canes of mosaic glass were created, then stretched to shrink the patterns and either cut across into small, circular pieces or lengthwise into strips. These were placed together to form a flat circle, heated until they fused, and the resulting disk was then sagged over or into a mold to give the object its shape. Almost all cast objects required polishing on their edges and interiors to smooth the imperfections caused by the manufacturing process; the exteriors usually did not require further polishing because the heat of the annealing furnace would create a shiny, "fire polished" surface.
Condition: Due to original heavy damage, areas of the lower shank repaired and restored, delineated by the decorative loop on the shank, the upper shank, bezel and shoulder of the ring are original in high karat gold. Intaglio is intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: US ring size: 6
Provenance: Private NY collection, acquired from the trade around the early 1970s.
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