A ROMAN SARDONYX RINGSTONE WITH DIONYSUS RIDING A PANTHER
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A ROMAN SARDONYX RINGSTONE WITH DIONYSUS RIDING A PANTHER

CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN SARDONYX RINGSTONE WITH DIONYSUS RIDING A PANTHER
CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
1. in. (2.6 cm.) long
Provenance
Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886-1965), Rome, acquired and brought to Switzerland, late 1930s; thence by continuous descent to the current owner.
Literature
J. Boardman and C. Wagner, Masterpieces in Miniature: Engraved Gems from Prehistory to the Present, London, 2018, p.183, no. 169.
Special notice

This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

Brought to you by

Claudio Corsi
Claudio Corsi Specialist, Head of Department

Lot Essay

The domed oval sardonyx is composed of two layers, red over cream. Engraved with the charming scene of the infant Dionysos riding a pantheress, sitting astride her back holding a long ribboned thrysos and offering her a cup. She sits with one forepaw raised, long tail curling up, her head turned back towards the god, with her tongue out to drink from the proffered vessel. The image of the infant god riding a panther was obviously popular in many media: see "Dionysos/Bacchus", in LIMC, Vol III, p. 552, no. 148, for a fresco in Naples Museum, inv. no. 9122 and p. 554, no 174 for a mosaic with the infant being supported by a maenad. For a very similar gem in Berlin (inv. no. 1680), cf. A. Furtwängler, Die Antiken Gemmen, Berlin and Leipzig, 1900, pl. XXVIII, no. 23.
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