Unknown325 - 300 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

An actor holds a theatrical mask on the engraved bezel of this gold ring. Due to changes in the nature and form of Greek drama, the role of the actor became much more important in the 300s B.C. Aristotle commented that the actor in this period was becoming more important than the playwright, in contrast to earlier circumstances. This increasing importance led to more depictions of actors in art; scenes of actors contemplating a mask, the most important part of an actor's costume, became frequent. A graffito in Greek letters reading SAME, probably the name of the ring's owner, was scratched into the gold behind the actor.

In the late 300s B.C., a new ring form, a large round bezel on a heavy hoop, became popular. The bezel of this ring shows the final transition from an oval to a round bezel.

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  • Title: Ring
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 325 - 300 B.C.
  • Location Created: Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 2.2 x 2.1 cm (7/8 x 13/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gold
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Ring
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 85.AM.276
  • Inscription: Secondary Inscription: A graffito appears in the field behind the figure of the actor: SAMH (as read by Leo Mildenberg). Greek name: "Same" (as read by Leo Mildenberg)
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 114, Dionysos and the Theater
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek
  • Classification: Jewelry