A roman heliotrope intaglio. There are engravings on both faces of the truncated cone bezel/setting. On the smallest surface: Ceres sitting on her throne, with wheat ears in one hand; an ant is at her feet. On the biggest surface: an altar, seen with an angular perspective, with a burning torch (similar to a chandelier) upon; on the walls of the altar there are a patera and a pitcher (having a clear reference to the devotional and sacrificial ambit), as a relief ornament to the marble base. The altar is also decorated with a garland. Beautiful gem quality; the numerous red pigments are visible even in transparency. Rare allegorical intaglio, of a votive and auspicious meaning (luck and prosperity). For comparisons: G.M.A. Richter, Catalogue of Engraved Gems. Greek, Etruscan and Roman (the Metropolitan Museum of Art - NY), p. 80, n.346. 2nd - 3rd century A.D.
13 x 15 x 4 mm