Ancient Roman glass cameo ring. Set to center with a rectangular glass cameo plaque inscribed 'SPQR', to a broad tapering signet style ring with a flat solid shank. Tested yellow gold, approximately 6g in weight, circa 4th century AD, accompanied by an Oxford Labs X-ray fluorescence report stating the composition of the metal.
This is an extremely rare ring and in excellent condition.
The famous Roman acronym SPQR stands for ‘the Senate and People of Rome’ - S(enatus) P(opulus)Q(ue) R(omanus).
This piece is a miraculous survival from antiquity and epitomises the power of Rome. Material finds uncover the life of ancient cultures, none more so than this ring. This ring would only have been permitted to be worn by select people, such as patrician members of the Senate- the toga wearing powerbrokers of the Empire.
The acronym ‘SPQR’ was created in circa 100BC by the Senate and was used as the official signature of the government. The letters appear in surviving political, legal and historical literature, including the histories of Livy and the legal speeches of Cicero and were emblazoned on public buildings, coins and the standard of the legions.
SPQR has remained the most potent symbol of any culture throughout history, representing the ideal of civilisation. To this day it is still used as the official emblem of the modern day municipality of Rome. This is the oldest known acronym in current use, now for over 2000 years.