Unknown4th century B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Two birds perch on a laver or basin, with a branch in between them and one on either side. There is no particular context for this picture on the bezel of this ring, and the meaning of this motif is unknown. Birds on lavers frequently appear in the background of scenes on Classical vases, and the ring's motif may derive from such scenes.

The use of tremolo technique enhances the engraving on the bowl and base of the laver, as well as the border surrounding the scene. Tremolo technique produced a series of zigzag arcs by rocking a chisel-like tool over the surface of the bezel. Although once widely used to decorate a variety of media in Greek art, this technique had gone out of fashion by the 300s B.C., except for a limited resurgence on gold rings. The large, oval bezel was a popular form for engraved rings in this period.

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  • Title: Ring
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 4th century B.C.
  • Location Created: Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 1.7 cm (11/16 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: 81.AN.76.81
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 212, Coins, Gems and Jewelry
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek
  • Classification: Jewelry