Ancient Roman Sphinx intaglio ring. Centrally set with an oval cornelian intaglio with finely carved Sphinx and the letters ‘S A’, in a closed back rubover collet setting, surrounded by a fine wirework border, flanked by split shoulders with granule detailing and leading through to a solid D-shape shank with further beaded decoration. Tested yellow gold, approximate weight 6.77g, circa 1st- 2nd century AD.
In Greek mythology, the sphinx was mythical monster, which had the head of a human and the body of a lioness, the wings of an eagle, and a serpent-headed tail. The sphinx motif was commonly used during the Renaissance period in decorative art, which was also exported and transformed into many other cultures later.
This ring has fine motifs with decorative details which make it a rare museum quality piece.