6 December 2007
A NECKLACE OF TWENTY-ONE ROMAN AMETHYST RING STONES
CIRCA 1ST CENTURY B.C.-2ND CENTURY A.D.
The stones graduated in size, one engraved with a draped bust in profile to the right; one with a bust of Minerva in profile to the left, wearing her aegis and a crested helmet; one with a standing winged nude Eros holding a vessel; one with a draped bust of a winged goddess in profile to the left; one with a capricorn swimming to the left; one with janiform male heads; one Sasanian, circa 4th century A.D., with a lion in profile to the left, a crescent above; one with a standing nude warrior, a mantle draped over his arm, his spear leaning against one arm, holding a helmet in the other hand, his shield below; one with Omphale facing right, Hercules' club and lion skin over her shoulders; one with a standing nude youth, holding a ram's head in one hand above a column, a stick in his lowered hand; one with an alighting winged and draped Victoria, a palm branch in one hand, a wreath in the other; one with a bust of Tyche wearing a turreted crown; one with a standing nude Venus, holding tendrils of hair in each hand; one with a standing youth, a mantle draped over his shoulders, an attribute in his raised hands, a palm branch in a jug before him; one with a standing Minerva and Mercury, the goddess wearing a peplos and crested helmet, a spear in her hand, the god nude but for a mantle, holding his caduceus and money bag; one with a syncretistic winged Fortuna, holding a ship's rudder; one with a two-handled kantharos; one with Mercury standing before a column, holding his caduceus and money bag; one with a youth seated on a rock, holding a stick; one with a ram's head; and one a cameo with a facing head; all mounted as a necklace in a Renaissance-style setting of octagonal linked segments looped together, with pearls projecting from the loops
19 5/8 in. (49.8 cm.) long
The ring stones acquired by the current owner in the 1970s-1980s.
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This necklace is modelled on an example, also set with Roman gems, crafted in Nuremberg circa 1530, and now in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg. See p. 184 in Gregorietti, Jewelry through the Ages.
This lot may not be exported out of the United States without first receiving an export license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
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