Unknown250 - 400

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

A bust of a man is engraved into the flat, square bezel of this Late Roman gold ring. He wears Roman military attire, but some elements of the style of the carving are typical of Sassanian art from the powerful kingdom on the Roman Empire's eastern border. Carved Sassanian seals often show this same orientation of the figure, with the head facing in one direction and the body in the other, as well as a similar hairstyle. The stars in the upper corners of the bezel on either side of the head are found on both Roman and Sassanian rings. The portrayal of a man without an earring, however, would have been unusual in Sassanian art. A Sassanian artist may have been commissioned to create this ring for a Roman military official. This blending of Roman and non-Roman elements is characteristic of art produced on the edges of the Empire.

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  • Title: Ring
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 250 - 400
  • Location Created: Roman Empire
  • Physical Dimensions: 1.9 x 2.6 cm (3/4 x 1 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: 83.AM.228.4
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 212, Coins, Gems and Jewelry
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Roman
  • Classification: Jewelry