An italic banded agate intaglio. Mercury and the return of Persephone to the earth.
7 x 10 X 2 mm
The god wears a cloak and is depicted with the head in profile and the body slightly in three-quarters. The figure leans forward holding out his right hand to the young Persephone who emerges from the subsoil (beyond the grave) and holds an ear of wheat, symbol of fertility and rebirth. Auspicious allegorical scene related to rebirth, prosperity and the cycle of the seasons (arrival of spring). The subject probably derives from Pythagorean beliefs (see Furtwangler, A. G., III, pp. 253 ss.). Italic "Etruscan" style. Use of globular elements. Slight signs of wear. Rare. Comparisons: G. M. A. Richter, Catalog of engraved gems. Greek, Etruscan and Roman, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, plate XXX-XXXIV n. 225-226.
3rd - 2nd century BC.