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Oval gem with Augustus as Neptune, mounting a sea-chariot

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Red-orange carnelian; the top surface is lightly bleached. Intaglio, set in a modern gold ring. The first Roman emperor, Augustus, represented as Neptune, the god of the sea, steps into a chariot drawn by four sea-horses through a turbulent sea. Augustus holds a trident in his right hand...

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Inscription

ΠΟΠΙΛ ΑΛΒΑΝ

Provenance

By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection; 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 290 (said to have been found at Hadrumetum in Tunisia); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; April 5, 1926: loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren (as 66.26); November 17, 1927: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

Roman, Early Imperial Period, late 1st century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 105 (1920; 2002, additional published references).

Dimensions

Overall: 1.7 x 2.1 cm (5/8 x 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

27.733

Medium or Technique

Carnelian

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Jewelry / Adornment, Gems