A rare, hellenistic carnelian intaglio, mounted in a modern gold ring. Portrait bust of a Ptolemaic queen. The royal effigy is laureate and in profile to the left, being characterized by an elaborate hairdo; the hair, tied around the face, untie at the level of the nape, going free until the shoulders. The face is characterized by high cheekbones and low forehead, typical elements in the portraiture ascribable to the Ptolemaic dinasty; the presence of jewels (the earring and the diadem with crescent on top) symbolizes royal and divine rank of the portrayed character; the garment, a very elaborate one, is adorned by some decorations, both on shoulders and chest. The portrait typology and the engraving style (which can be referred to a production from the alexandrine area) could relate this portrait to Cleopatra II Filometore Soteira (185 circa- 116 a.C.), daughter to Tolomeus V and Cleopatra I; but the presence of the crescent would rather imply a later identification, referring to Cleopatra V Selene (Κλεοπάτρα Σελήνη, 131-130 - 69 a.C.),daughter to Tolomeus VIII and Cleopatra III; or to Cleopatra VIII Selene ( 40 -6 a.C. ), daughter to Cleopatra VII and Marc Anthony; the first name, Cleopatra, comes from that of her mother, Cleopatra VII, last queen of Egypt. The second name comes from greek goddess Selene (Σελήνη, Moon), indeed, and was given to her, as Plutarch states, for a contrast with her brother's Alexander Helios' second name (Ἥλιος, Sun). The bezel is particularly rounded, showing a chipping at the bottom, on the back. Intense stone colour. Wear marks. Rare. Modern gold ring, characterized by a hoop which is fully decorated by parallel grooves. 2nd - 1st century B.C.
Intaglio 18 x 14 x 7 mm; ring diam. 20 mm; gr. 16.59.