Ancient Roman gold ring with Cupid intaglio. Horizontally set with an oval cornelian intaglio finely engraved with a winged Cupid with flute hunting a rabbit in a closed back rubover collet setting within a gold frame, flanked to either side by trumpeting openwork shoulders composed of four rows of pellets within wirework borders, graduating in size around the finger, and tapering through to a solid flat triple wire shank. Tested yellow gold, approximately 5.5g in weight, circa 3rd century AD.
The intaglio set in this ring is carved with minute precision, each line building up the image which is crisply executed. This is a museum quality ring, and a very fine example of An-cient Roman craftsmanship, showcasing several highly technical goldworking techniques, in excellent condition.
In classical mythology, Cupid was the god of love and affection. In this intaglio he is shown with a few of his typical attributes: the flute symbolising love and an arrow for shooting his victims. In this intaglio Cupid appears to be chasing a rabbit- a scene which can be seen on a fresco from the House of Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus in the ancient city of Pompeii, dated circa 1st century AD, now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Italy, object number 9229.
See Ruseva-Slokoska, L. 'Roman Jewellery', Sofia, 1991, item 186 for a ring of comparable design with ornate openwork shoulders.