Herald of the day

Gold ring with an antique roman cameo: A rooster in carnelian, 1st / 2nd century AD.

With its crowing, the rooster announces the day and scares away the demons of the night. In the Christian tradition we know him as a warner of diabolical activity: At the denial of Peter a rooster crowed three times and reminded him of his failure. The rooster was also known to early Christianity as a symbol of the resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ on the Last Day. And the weathercock, which is often mounted on church spires and is the first to be touched by the sun's rays because of its high position, still symbolizes the victory of Christ's light over the power of darkness. To the cultures of antiquity, still untouched by the later Christian faith, the cock was equally sacred. Thus it was already regarded by the Syrians and Egyptians as the symbol of the sun and accordingly also as the symbol of the god of fire. Among the Greeks, it was also assigned to the sun god Apollo, to Pallas Athena as a symbol of vigilance, to Ares as a symbol of combativeness and readiness for battle, and to Hermes, Asclepius, Demeter and Persephone. Our ring, which bears an ancient cameo of the 1st or 2nd century AD depicting a rooster, is thus rich in references and possibilities for interpretation. The oval carnelian presents the fowl in a stretched pose, as if it were gathering to announce the dawn of the day. The ancient stone cutter has elegantly fitted the animal into the oval shape of the gem. The setting, which holds the cameo, is entirely geared to the presentation of the stone. A double line alone frames the gem and thus holds it securely. The antique Roman carnelian originally came to us with its setting as part of a bracelet of the years around 1800 from a Cologne collection. The simple ring shank made of high-carat gold with the two arches to the right and left of the stone setting was created in our workshop based on models from the same period. Thus the gem can now be worn safely and with pleasure as a ring again. The representation and detailing, the form of reproduction and the comparison with other surviving intaglios allow us to date this piece to the 1st to 2nd century AD, i.e. to the Roman imperial period. Cameos in carnelian were produced in particularly large numbers at this time in Aquileia, among other places, and our fable stone may also have come from here. Cf. in particular Erika Zwierlein-Diehl: Antike Gemmen und ihr Nachleben, Berlin/New York 2007, p. 136, p. 143, p. 144 and others.

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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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