Dating to c.1790 for the intaglio and c.1900 for the 14k mounting, this ring holds a highly-scarce intaglio which represents both the fall of Imperial Rome and Revolutionary France!
Measuring 17 mm x 11 mm across the bezel, this is easily one of the rarest intaglios I have acquired in my 30+ years as a dealer, collector and scholar of antique jewelry! The subject is Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, most commonly known to history only as Brutus, who is best known for taking a leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar. The intaglio is carved from banded agate, and depicts Brutus facing left. Below his bust are depicted the two daggers with which he stabbed Julius Caesar as well as the "liberty cap" which represented the liberation of the Roman people from Imperial rule.
What makes this ring especially fascinating is that it was carved c.1790, when the Revolution had exploded across France, and the Revolutionaries had adopted the image of Brutus as a kind of hero of their cause. The writer Voltaire and the artist David had both produced works in 1789-1790 with Brutus as an allegory for the abolition of the French monarchy, and this intaglio may well have been carved in France for wear by a powerful anti-monarchist such as Maximilien Robespierre! It is certainly no coincidence that this gem was crafted on the eve of the Revolution, and the intaglio is in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for, with no chips, cracks or damage! Moreover, this is the ONLY extant example of this subject I have discovered, in reference books or out!
This intaglio was re-mounted in the ring you see here c.1900, likely when the original ring mounting was worn beyond repair. The intaglio is set in 14k yellow gold (faint worn hallmark; tested), and is suitable for wear by a lady, or as a fascinating pinky ring by a gentleman! It is currently a petite size 4 3/4, but could easily be sized up by a good bench jeweler for little cost. If you collect the ULTIMATE in historical rings or intaglios, this rare example belongs on your hand and in your collection! It would also make a stellar gift for anyone fascinated with Roman or French history, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this historically important jewel; up to 60 day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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