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A ROMAN GOLD AND NICOLO FINGER RING
A ROMAN GOLD AND NICOLO FINGER RING

CIRCA 2ND-3RD CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN GOLD AND NICOLO FINGER RING
CIRCA 2ND-3RD CENTURY A.D.
The solid hoop flat on the interior, carinated on the exterior, expanding to the pointed shoulders, the bezel set with a bevelled oval stone engraved with a youth shouldering a ram, gripping its forelegs and hind legs in his hands, standing on a groundline, wearing a short tunic
1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm.) long; ring size 3½
Provenance
Vienna Private Collection, early 1990s.

Lot Essay

According to Carder (in Weitzmann, Age of Spirituality, Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century, p. 519) "the youthful ram-bearing shepherd had a long tradition of pagan usage (offering bearer, bucolic figure, personification of Winter, Hermes psychopompos), but in the Late Antique period this image acquired a general philanthropic savior symbolism. As such it was adopted by the Christians as the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-16; Luke 15:3-7)- Christ as the Savior of the Christian flock." There is nothing about the style of the present gem to link it specifically to either pagan or Christian usage.
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