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Ancient Roman dolphin intaglio ring. Set horizontally with an oval glass intaglio depicting a dolphin, in a closed backrubover setting, to a smoothly conforming yellow gold frame which leads though to a solid tapering D-shapeshank. Tested yellow gold, approximately 6g in weight, circa 2nd-3rd century AD.
Dolphins were a favourite motif in the ancient world. They were sacred to the gods Venus and Apollo, and were frequently depicted with Cupid, the god of love, riding its back.
See Ruseva-Slokoska, L., 'Roman Jewellery', item 197 for a ring of similar period and style.