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Ring with incised gem showing an athlete pouring sand on his thigh

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Sard, set in a gold ring depicting an athlete sprinkling sand on his thigh. After oiling his skin, the dusting of the body with sand was considered necessary for participants in combat sports because it made the skin less slippery.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 40: from Vulci; formerly in the possession of Campanari; later in the Evans collection); April 7, 1921: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 30,000.00 (this figure is the total purchase price for MFA 21.1193-21.1221)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

Italic, Etruscan, Late Archaic Period, about 500–475 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 040 (1920; 2002, additional published references).

Dimensions

13mm (1/2 in.)

Accession Number

21.1201

Medium or Technique

Sard and gold, set in a gold ring

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Jewelry / Adornment, Rings