A roman black onyx intaglio. Decorated urn. The precious container (without handles), which can be identified with a krater or, more likely, an urn with lid (in marble), shows a fully sculpted body. The base is made of a leafy decoration, while the bottom of the vase, linked to the foot, shows a fluted motif; the central part is characterized by a decoration of dancing figures, playing wind instruments (maenads and satyrs?), surrounded by two rounded frames. The curved lid shows the same fluted decoration of the lower section, with a majestic, winged sphynx standing above. The intaglio has been carried out with remarkable artistry and refinement, with an excellent result in terms of three-dimensional details. The bezel shows light wear marks. Numerous comparisons can be detected within the roman production of vases and marble sculpted urns. For comparisons between different typologies of decorated vases engraved on gems: L.P.B. Stefanelli, La collezione Paoletti, vol. I, pp. 157-158 n. 581-587 ("Un vaso colla sfinge", impronta da un intaglio in corniola. Berlino, Staatliche Museen, coll. Stosch in Winckelmann 1760, V 114, for the subject depicted on the body of the vase). 1st century A.D.
7,5 x 10 x 1,5 mm.