Sale 19618
Masterpieces in Miniature: Ancient Engraved Gems formerly in the G. Sangiorgi Collection Part II
Online 2 - 16 June 2020

The gold setting is formed of a broad band, flat on the interior, ribbed on the exterior. The conical terminals are rimmed in beaded wire, and there are granules along the join to the hoop. The beetle is threaded onto a gold pin that passes through the terminals and is knobbed on each end. For a similar example, see no. 313 in F.H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Finger Rings, Greek, Etruscan & Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum.

The beetle is well detailed, with outlined winglets and a hatched plinth. The underside is engraved in the a-globolo style with Hercle standing in profile before a fountain, one leg resting atop an orb but probably meant to be understood as an amphora. One arm is bent acutely, holding his head, the elbow resting on his raised knee, while in the other, he holds his club behind him. The scene is enclosed within a hatched border. For another carnelian scarab with the same subject, and perhaps by the same hand, see no. 463 in E. Zwierlein-Diehl, Antike Gemmen in Deutschen Sammlungen, Band II, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Antikenabteilung, Berlin.

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