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A GREEK CHALCEDONY RINGSTONE PORTRAIT
A GREEK CHALCEDONY RINGSTONE PORTRAIT

HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA MID 3RD CENTURY B.C.

Details
A GREEK CHALCEDONY RINGSTONE PORTRAIT
Hellenistic Period, Circa Mid 3rd Century B.C.
The convex oval stone engraved with a veiled female bust in profile to the right, with idealized features and a protruding chin, wearing a diadem, with a row of corkscrew curls framing the forehead; mounted in a modern gold ring
13/16 in. (2.1 cm) long

Lot Essay

For a related gem in Oxford see no. 179 in Plantzos, Hellenistic Engraved Gems. Boardman and Vollenweider (Catalogue of the Engraved Gems and Finger Rings) had previously identified the Oxford portrait as that of a Ptolemaic queen, perhaps Arsinoe II, but Plantzos (op. cit., p. 69) states that "its generalized character allows no individual features at all." However, the corkscrew curls on our gem (not present on the Oxford gem) argues in favor of the identification as Arsinoe II. Similar curls are found on her limestone statuette in Egyptian style in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 66 in Bianchi, et al., Cleopatra's Egypt, Age of the Ptolemies.
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