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    Sale 2057

    Ancient Jewelry

    9 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 256

    AN ETRUSCAN CARNELIAN SCARAB AND GOLD FINGER RING

    CIRCA LATE 5TH CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN ETRUSCAN CARNELIAN SCARAB AND GOLD FINGER RING
    CIRCA LATE 5TH CENTURY B.C.
    The large beetle with a crosshatched plinth, well-defined legs and head, a hatched border to the thorax, and outlined elytra with corner V winglets, the underside engraved with Bellerophon and the Chimaera, the hero riding the winged horse Pegasus, a spear in his raised hand, the horse with a ring of beads around its neck, the Chimaera in the form of a lion with its head turned back, its mouth open revealing a projecting tongue, a goat head rising from its neck, enclosed within a hatched border; mounted as a ring with a plain hoop, round in section, terminating in a perforated dome at each end, joined to the scarab by a wire threaded through the beetle and the corresponding domes and then coiled around each end
    1¼ in. (3.1 cm.) wide; ring size 5¼


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    The subject of Bellerophon dispatching the Chimaera was popular in Etruscan art in all media from the 6th to the 4th century B.C. (see nos. 65-72 in Krauskopf, "Chimaira (in Etruria)" in LIMC, vol. III. For an Etruscan scarab depicting Pegasus in the same style as the present gem, perhaps by the same hand, see no. 868 in Richter, Engraved Gems of the Greeks and the Etruscans.

    Provenance

    Fondation La Coudre, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, 1950s.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN SCHOLAR