Superb Hardstone Cameo Ring of Roman Emperor Galba
This is a magnificent Renaissance cameo of the Roman emperor Galba, dating to the 16th - 17th century. The workmanship clearly fits with Italian Gemarii working in the Classical style. The gem is expertly sculpted from a banded agate, the upper white layer cut with the masculine portrait of Galba, wearing the imperial laurel wreath of an emperor.
Such large cameos were made for the imperial court during the 1st century A.D. Set in gold pendants and presented as diplomatic gifts. Those of Glaba were made later during the Renaissance, to appease the appetite for ancient Roman gems sought for the collections of European nobility.
This gem displays plenty of age, having a fine patina to the surfaces found on ancient pieces. The ring is a later design, made to impress with its size. Such a piece would have been commissioned by an aristocrat, to display his knowledge and appreciation of the classical world.
DATE: c. 16th - 17th century A.D. (ring early 19th century)
MATERIAL: 18k gold and Agate
RING SIZE: 8 (US) Q (UK)
SIZE: 26mm x 24mm (bezel 33mm x 24mm)
WEIGHT: 19.2 grams