Rings from the ancient world are exceedingly scarce, greatly prized and highly sought after. Berganza holds an extensive collection of original Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Celtic rings, each ring showcasing the style and artistry of the ancient craftsman of the period.
Rings would have been made usually from bronze, silver or yellow gold and display fine metalworking skills such as precision engraving, granulation and wirework. Considering the astonishing age of these pieces and their historical significance, they are still immensely wearable today and are frequently chosen as a unique engagement ring or wedding ring- guaranteed to be unlike any other.
One can only speculate about the people who originally wore these rings, we can be sure however that they would have been reserved for the elite of society as only these people would have been able to afford such luxury.
Rings were often worn as talismans, protecting the wearer from harm or using symbolic motifs to ensure prosperity in life. The design of these rings show off motifs such as the ‘reef knot’ and ‘fede’ design- both used as betrothal or marriage rings, animals such as snakes would have represented wisdom and love, and depictions of the ancient gods were frequently illustrated- each known for their particular ability to provide assistance and security to the individual.
The art of engraving gemstones (or glyptography) was one of the foremost arts of antiquity, with a tradition that continues through history. Rings set with intaglios may also have been used as seals and had the duality of being decorative as well as functional.
We are committed to continuing the smooth operation of the Berganza website and our team are working hard to provide the same level of service. Our jewellery specialists are on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding a piece which has caught your eye and our extensive website will be operating as normal. Whilst the showroom remains closed for the coming weeks, we are able to offer virtual appointments via zoom.
Should you wish to make a purchase through our website, these items will be shipped to you as usual. All shipping is fully insured and complimentary.
Ancient Roman cornelian signet ring with engraving of Mars, circa 2nd-3rd century AD.
Ancient Roman cornelian signet ring with engraving of Mars. Set with one central oval cornelian intaglio in a closed back rubover setting featuring an engraved full length profile of the ancient Roman god Mars, with polished borders and closed backholing, leading to solid shoulders and flowing through to a tapering solid court shape shank. Tested yellow gold, circa 2nd-3rd century AD.
In Roman mythology Mars was the god of war, with the Greek equivalent called Ares.
The intaglio set in this ring is carved with minute precision, each line building up the image which is crisply executed and is in excellent condition.