• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2057

    Ancient Jewelry

    9 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 261

    A ROMAN GOLD AND CARNELIAN FINGER RING

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN GOLD AND CARNELIAN FINGER RING
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY B.C.
    The plain hoop flat on the interior, slightly rounded on the exterior, expanding to the high bezel, set with a circular carnelian engraved with Amymone, the daughter of Danaus, kneeling, holding a trident and extending her hands towards a hydria, on a groundline
    3/8 in. (.9 cm.) long; ring size 6¼


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    Amymone, the "blameless" one, was one of the fifty daughters of Danaus, the brother of Aegyptus. Danaus married his fifty daughters to his brother's fifty sons and instructed them to kill their husbands on their wedding night. All complied but Amymone, who refused because her husband Lynceus honored her wish to remain a virgin, thus she received the epithet, "blameless." Amymone and Lynceus went on to found a dynasty of Argive kings that led to Danaë, the mother of Perseus. While at Argos she went for water and was rescued from a threatening satyr by Poseidon. On gems she is shown with a hydria, or water jar, and Poseidon's attribute, the trident. See for example nos. 387-388 in Zwierlein-Diehl, Antike Gemmen in Deutschen Sammlungen, Band II, Berlin.

    Provenance

    American Private Collection, 1980s-1990s.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN SCHOLAR