In Greek mythology, the siren, a creature with a bird's body and a woman's head, lured men to their deaths with its singing. Sirens were a popular motif on engraved Greek gems and rings. The siren on the bezel of this gold ring is somewhat unusual, however, in that she has human arms in addition to her bird's wings. 

The pointed oval form of the bezel became popular around 500 B.C. and continued into the Classical period. Bezels and rings were constructed separately, with the bezel added above a hollow, box‑like compartment that was part of the tapering hoop. Engraved gold rings like this one were often used to impress an image on a clay or wax seal.


  • Title: Hollow Ring (Main view)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about 500 B.C.
  • Location Created: Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 1.4 × 1 cm (9/16 × 3/8 in.)
  • Type: Ring
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gold
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 85.AM.269
  • Culture: Greek
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Jewelry

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps