Roman Bronze Ring with Insect Intaglio


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Object Description

An Ancient Roman bronze signet ring featuring a circular section hoop and a circular bezel, finely engraved with the depiction of a winged insect, possibly a fly or a bee. The shank is decorated on the upper part with parallel, incised lines.

Signet rings occur in various ancient civilizations, as they were used to “sign” documents through the impression on hot wax of the symbol on the ring, which would lead to the owner. Insects such as flies or bees were invested of various symbolic meanings in Antiquity. The bee was a very important symbol of rebirth and strength for the Romans, as bees disappeared during the winter and reappeared during springtime. Bees also produced honey, which for its qualities was named the “food of the gods” and was often employed as votive offerings. Furthermore, the bee was also one of the symbols of the Roman goddess Diana, the protector of wildlife and nature.

UK ring size S.

Date: Circa 1st – 4th century AD

Object Condition

Very fine, some of the outer layer and green patina on the shank lost due to ageing.

Object Details

  • material
  • diameter
    2.3 centimeters

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)208 364 4565
+44 (0)7833231322

Dealer Location

The Gallery
Trent Park Equestrian Centre
Eastpole Farm House, Bramley Road
Oakwood, N14 4UW, United Kingdom

St James's Ancient Art
10 Charles II Street, Ground Floor
St James