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Roman Silvered Bronze Seal Ring with Young Woman

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1191053

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Roman Silvered Bronze Seal Ring with Young Woman

This scarce and mint quality Roman ring dates circa mid 1st century B.C., and is approximately ring size 6 to 6.5. This piece is bronze, and has a traces of silver gilt that was highly polished. This piece is of superb to mint condition, and has a nice dark brown/green patina with some silvered highlights. The flat face has deep carving, and this seal ring produces an impressed image that is seen in high relief. This impressed image is seen facing right when the ring is pressed into a material such as wax or a soft clay, and the image has very sharp detail which is the bust of a young woman. This image closely resembles that of a young Octavia Minor, who was the sister of Octavian/Augustus and the third wife of Marcus Antonius, whom she married afer the death of her first husband, Caius Marcellus, in 40 B.C. She was also instumental in bringing about the treaty of Tarentum in 37 B.C., when Antonius and Octavian agreed to renew the Triumvirate. She was essentially a noble, loyal, and kindly woman who even looked after her step-children in Rome even after Antonius had formally divorced her. The wearer of this ring likely was a supporter of the imperial family of Octavian/Augustus, and was also likely a young woman. The portrait bust seen here has very analogous features to the known portraits of Octavia Minor, and this includes hair that is seen rolled into a bun at the back, and is seen rolled on each side of the head. There is also a hair curl seen hanging down in front of the ear, and there is a small mouth with an aquiline type nose. The portraits of Octavia Minor also closely resemble those of Livia, Octavian/Augustus wife, whose earliest coiffures were the same as hers. (For a discription of the portrait type see "Roman Historical Portraits" by J.M.C. Toynbee, Thames and Hudson Pub., London, 1978, pp. 48-50.) It's quite possible that the young woman seen on this superb Roman ring may also have been created to represent both of the Imperial ladies noted above, and in turn, represented support for the Imperial family. This scarce to rare ring can be worn today, as it is very solid, and it is a very fine example of a Roman jewelry piece from the early Imperial period. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1980's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:

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