28 Apr 2020

Superb Roman Ring

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click on image for larger version.

Roman ring, with portrait of Cæsonia Milonia (died 24 January 41), the fourth and last wife of Roman emperor Caligula and a former priestess of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Caesonia had a bad reputation, as she was promiscuous, extravagant, deep in debt, and a divorcee, but Caligula decided to marry her so that she could produce him an heir. She was murdered along with Caligula and their three daughters in 41.

Cut sapphire (and intaglio representing the profile of the empress) and hollowed out and set in gold, early 1st century.

(Former collection of the Dukes of Marlborough, this exceptional ring was sold in October 2019 in London by London jeweler Wartski to an unknown buyer (estimated transaction £ 500,000 / € 570,000 — $ 622,145 / $ 709,245.30).

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