• Vintage and Modern Jewels at S auction at Christies

    Sale 5896

    Vintage and Modern Jewels at South Kensington, Including Fine Hermès Handbags

    19 November 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 94

    An antique cornelian intaglio seal ring

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    An antique cornelian intaglio seal ring
    The oval intaglio depicting a bacchantic sacrificial scene of a bearded man offering a serpent to an altar with ram's head above a herm of a satyr with standing female in attendance, in later gold ring mount, the intaglio probably 17th century


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    Post Lot Text

    C.f. A. B. Chadour, Rings, the Alice and Louis Koch collection, p.402, no. 1288, for a hardstone cameo representing a similar design. It is stated that the same motif appears on a cameo signed Giovanni Pichler but the image is probably taken from an ancient prototype. According to Ophites the serpent was instructed in all knowledge and the ancients thought they could interpret the future through them.