A ROMAN RED JASPER RINGSTONE WITH A CHARIOT RACE
A ROMAN RED JASPER RINGSTONE WITH A CHARIOT RACE
1 More
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF DR. CORINNE BRONFMAN
A ROMAN RED JASPER RINGSTONE WITH A CHARIOT RACE

CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN RED JASPER RINGSTONE WITH A CHARIOT RACE
CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
7⁄8 in. (2 cm.) wide; ring size 9
Provenance
Sibylle Mertens-Schaaffhausen (1797-1857), Cologne and Rome; thence by descent.
Catalogue des collections laissées par feu Madame Mertens Schaaffhausen, seconde partie, J.M. Heberle (H. Lempertz), Cologne, 12 July 1859 (and following days), lot 1323.
M.H. Nevil Story-Maskelyne (1823-1911), Wroughton, Wiltshire, acquired 1860-1899; thence by descent to his son-in-law, William Arnold-Forster (1886-1951), Cornwall.
Catalogue of the Story-Maskelyne Collection of Ancient Gems, the Property of W.E. Arnold Forster, Esq., Sotheby's, London, 4-5 July 1921, lot 252.
Browet, acquired from the above (according to auctioneer's book).
Marjorie Bronfman (1917-2012), Montreal, acquired by 1978; gifted to her daughter, Dr. Corinne Bronfman (1947-2022), Washington, D.C.; thence by descent to the current owner.
Literature
E. Zwierlein-Diehl, “Gemmen aus der Sammlung Sibylle Mertens-Schaaffhausen: Die Daktyliothek des Historischen Archivs der Stadt Köln,” Kölner Jahrbuch, vol. 46, 2013, pp. 278-279, no. 53.

Brought to you by

Hannah Fox Solomon
Hannah Fox Solomon Head of Department, Specialist

Lot Essay

Engraved on this large ringstone is a scene from the Roman circus, with three bigae shown in full gallop. One team is in the lead, going to the right, and two are going to the left, with one about to turn the meta, which takes the form of a column surmounted by a sphere. The gem is mounted as a ring in an 18th century gilt-metal setting.

Circus scenes were popular on gems, many of which are likewise of red jasper; quadrigae are more common than bigae. For related examples see one in London (no. 2125 in H.B Walters, Catalogue of Engraved Gems & Cameos, Greek, Etruscan & Roman in the British Museum), one in The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (Inv. no. 42.1314), and one in Leiden (no. 716 in M. Maaskant-Kleibrink, Catalogue of the Engraved Gems in the Royal Coin Cabinet, The Hague). J.D. Beazley, in his catalog for the Story-Maskelyne auction, considered this to be of “fine work”.

More from Antiquities

View All
View All