A rare roman nicolo intaglio mounted in a modern gold ring. Allegorical scene referring to the musical and poetic arts.
intaglio 15 x 16 mm; ring diam. 22 mm; gr. 14
A young victorious musician wears a long chiton and is depicted with the frontal body and with the head in profile. The figure holds a laurel wreath with his right hand, in the act of crowning himself, while holding down the double flute with his left hand (διαυλός - diaulòs, that is double aulòs). The character turns towards a theatrical mask placed over an unusual pile of creatures, presumably insects (each of the four elements, superimposed vertically, has an oval shape of a convex shell with three small protuberances and is provided with small legs-antennas). Base line. Scene referring to the victory in musical and theatrical performances. Apparently unpublished allegorical representation, containing hermetic meanings partly to be identified, perhaps referable to some Greek poetic or theatrical work (see Anacreon, Ode XLIII dedicated to the Cicada, in the case of cicadas chrysalis; in fact, it refers to Euterpe, muse of the music, later also of the lyric poetry and according to some inventor of the aulos.The presence of four elements has symbolic value and is referable to the cycle of seasons or metamorphoses). Intaglio performed with skill. Some details are rendered with globular elements. Rare type of trapezoidal bezel. Slight wear marks. Gold setting of the 20th century. Paris, private collection before 1970.
End of the 1st century B.C. - beginning of the 1st century AD