The Ides of March

Modern gold ring with antique intaglio of a hero with laurel wreath, 1st/2nd century A.D.

In Roman times, intaglios such as this one were created for a wide variety of occasions. People had portraits of themselves, revered emperors, deities or patron saints cut into stone to give to friends and relatives. Scenes from mythology and representations of the gods served as protective amulets. But intaglios were also created as precious gifts by emperors to honour soldiers, civil servants or deserving citizens for loyal service. This gem of the first or second century AD shows such an honoured citizen, a man in his prime wearing a laurel wreath. The hair is short and curly, the profile strikingly cut into the stone. The laurel wreath was worn in ancient Rome as a badge of special achievement, by poets and war heroes alike. We were reminded by the depiction of probably the most famous laurel wreath wearer in ancient history, the Roman statesman Gaius Iulius Caesar (100-44 BC). Through cleverly chosen alliances and military successes, he rose to become dictator; his name was to become the title of all later rulers of the Roman Empire. In general, our word Emperor is etymologically derived from the name Caesar, as is the Russian title of Tsar. We reproduce herewith an illustration of another ancient gem with his portrait, shown as an engraving in the first volume of the "Gemmarum Antiquarum Delectus", London 1845, the collection of the Duke of Marlborough. The Roman Imperial period gem here may have been a gift, or a keepsake. The powerful cut suggests that it was made in the Roman Imperial period. The Roman carnelian with its setting originally came to us as part of a bracelet of the years around 1800 from a Cologne collection. The massive ring setting of high quality gold was created in our workshop according to models from antiquity. The gem, which was created as a ring stone in Roman times, can now be worn safely and with pleasure on the finger.

One of the most beautiful and exciting fields in the field of jewellery is the collecting of antique intaglios and cameos. These portraits, cut in hard stone, recessed or raised, offer such a wealth of motifs that a whole world of objects reveals itself to every interest. There are cameos with portraits of famous people and heroes, representations of deities and mythical events, memories of personal experiences and narrative scenes from everyday life. As gems were widespread as jewellery in antiquity and every citizen probably wore (and gave as a gift) such stones, a relatively large number of original pieces have been preserved outside museums. We are always particularly pleased to be able to offer such gems.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

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.


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.