Antiquities > Ancient and Medieval Finger Rings

Roman ring with Sea Monster Intaglio



Copper alloy; 3.8gm, Ring size 10 2nd-3rd Cent

Con/ As Fabricated and Engraved; residual tinning on the bezel.

The engraved "Sea Monster" on the bezel of this ring can be clearly seen in the photo and appears to look a bit like Nessie, the Lock Ness monster, doesn't it? 
But, more than likely, it is not a sea monster, but rather a Mediterranean monk seal, frolicking in the sea beneath a crescent moon?
Monk seals are now an endangered species, but common centuries ago.

Nearly 200 ancient rings in my collection but I have never seen one like this.

Help and thanks for looking!

Looks like a whale.  But I have never checked Pliny or other Roman sources to see what they knew about whales.

Also looks a tiny bit like a poor rendering of a galley - the ram prow shown as a split end and then an exaggerated stern post rising too high.  Doubt it is though as the oval makes no sense...



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