Seller: wear-the-past (1,924) 100%, Location: Salisbury, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 371789580693 This is an ancient Roman carnelian intaglio gem, dating to the late 1st - early 2nd century A.D. It is cut with an image of Virtus (personification of Courage) in full armour, resting on shield with his spear pointing downward - as a symbol of peace. This depiction of Virtus is often confused with Mars (god of War) who is depicted armed for battle. We have similar depictions of Virtus on coinage, with his name above (see below). Such an intaglio would have been worn mounted into a silver or gold signet ring, for use as personal signature for sealing letters. The original owner of a military background, possibly a centurion or officer in the imperial army. Sadly the gem has a few chips, one to the head and helmet. Being a military ring, these knocks are likely combat related. It is still an ancient gem with clear details remaining, it has survived in good excavated condition - suitable for remounting into a gold signet ring today.OBJECT: IntaglioCULTURE: RomanDATE: c. 2nd century A.D.MATERIAL: CarnelainSIZE: 14.18mm x 11.47mm x 3.92mmWEIGHT: 0.9 gramsThis item is guaranteed authentic and dates to the period described. A written guarantee can be provided on request. We accept returns if you are not satisfied with your purchase.I am a fully qualified Archaeologist and small finds specialist. All items can be viewed in person on request at Grays, Mayfair in London. Please see my website for details. Condition: chipped, see description for condition, Type: Intaglio, Provenance: Ex. European private collection, Material: Carnelian, Colour: Orange, Culture: Roman, Date: 2nd century A.D.