Ca. AD 1-200
A Roman chalcedony intaglio displaying a bucolic scene, a man engaged in the act of milking a goat. The goat faces left, while the man, positioned behind it, is seated on a low stool. The meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail employed in the creation of this scene are evident in the carefully etched forms and intricate composition. The intaglio is mounted within a possibly later gold ring that features a round hoop, along with expanded and faceted shoulders. For a similar example, see The British Museum, Museum number: 1987,0212.522.
The lavish use of gold jewellery was not considered socially acceptable during the Roman Republican period and was even barred through sumptuary laws such as Lex Oppia (215 BC), which forbade any woman to possess more than half an ounce of gold. From the Augustan period onwards, these restrictions became more relaxed and costly gold jewellery was made in large quantities in a style heavily influenced by Etruscan and Late Hellenistic artistic traditions.
Provenance: Private UK collection; From an old London collection formed in the 1990s.
ROMAN INTAGLIO WITH A MAN MILKING A GOAT IN GOLD RING
D: 18.14mm / US: 8 / UK: P 1/2; 10.47g