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Roman Erotic Bronze Ring with Leda and the Swan

Roman Erotic Bronze Ring with Leda and the Swan


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1301382
Apolonia Ancient Art
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290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
303-321-7351 gallery

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 $1,675.00 
$1,675.00

This scarce piece is a Roman bronze ring that dates circa 2nd-3rd century A.D., and features a reclined woman (Leda) with a swan on top. This Roman erotic type piece is approximately ring size 6 (16mm inner diameter), and was likely made for a young woman or girl. This piece is intact, has no repair/restoration, and is a solid bronze cast piece that can be worn today. This piece also has an attractive dark green patina that is an even color over the entire piece. This piece is in superb to mint condition, and has no wear on the outer surface, with only some slight wear on the inner surface of the hoop. This piece features a nude and reclined woman (Leda) who is seen reclined to the left, raised on her elbows, and has a swan positioned between her bent knees. The swan has his wings outstretched above, and has his neck looped up and down with his head kissing a breast. The piece offered here depicts the Greek myth of "Leda and the Swan", in which Zeus in the form of a Swan makes love to Leda, who gave birth to two sets of twins, one of each pair being mortal and immortal. One set of the twins was male, Castor and Pollux, and the other female, Helen and Clytemnestra. This ancient Greek myth was extremely popular in the Hellenistic Period, circa 3rd-2nd century B.C., and continued down into the Roman Imperial Period. A Roman carved gem, dated circa 3rd century A.D., showing the exact scene seen on the piece offered here, is seen in Christie's Ancient Jewelry, New York, Dec. 2004, no. 160. ($4,000.00-$6,000.00 estimates. See attached photo.) The relief of the figures seen on the piece offered is very high, and are very clear. The entire scene was also stamped into the flat top bezel of the ring, and the main body of the ring was cast as one solid piece. The design seen on this ring would have have been made like an ancient Greek or Roman bronze coin, and in both cases, the designs were stamped and struck with a carved punch die. The stamp punch die, for the erotic design seen here, may also have been used for additional rings and other objects as well. In addition, this ring may have been worn by an individual who was connected with the ancient Roman sex trade, and this ring may have served as an identifying symbol for the individual who wore this scarce ring. A ring such as this erotic type, would also have likely been worn by many individuals who lived in a city with a prevalent sex trade such as Pompeii. This piece also comes with a ring stand display base, and can easily be removed. Ex: Joel Malter collection, circa 1980's, Los Angeles, CA. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: