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A Roman Carnelian Intaglio of an Imperial Eagle, ca 1st century AD
Reference No: RJ206
A Roman Carnelian Intaglio of an Imperial Eagle, ca 1st century AD
Price : $ 4,500
EUR 4,149.90 GBP 3,555.90 AUD 6,756.30

Finely carved intaglio featuring a single headed eagle standing on a capital, wings folded, shown frontal with head raised in right profile, a wreath grasped in its beak, and flanked by two capitals surmounted with a star. 

The eagle is one of the most ancient and popular emblems of victory, its flight taken as an augury of military success in Rome where, legend claimed, it had followed Aeneas from Troy to Italy, whereafter it was carried on Roman standards as the "bird of Jove".  A totemic symbol of the Roman emperors and a symbols of imperial power in general, the soul of the emperor was supposed to be incarnate in an eagle, being released above imperial funerary pyres to carry the soul to heaven.

Condition:  Set in an 14K antique gold setting with a small loss to the proper right side where the setting holds the intaglio.  The front surface of the intaglio is in very good condtion, there is a chip to the back that is concealed by the setting. 

Dimensions: US ring size 7 1/2

Provenance:  Private Virginia collection, by descent to present owner.