Ancient Roman sardonyx goose intaglio ring. Set with an oval sardonyx intaglio of a goose, in a closed backrubover setting with an intricate beaded wire border, set on a flat openwork shank composed of wirework edges with gold granules between. Tested yellow gold, approximately 3.5g in weight, circa 2nd-4th century AD.
Geese were sacred birds in Ancient Rome. According to the historian Plutarch, the quacking of the goddess Juno's sacred geese alerted the Romans that the Gauls were attacking and so saved the city of Rome in 390 BC. It was at the temple of Juno on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, that the sacred birds were kept.