Jason and the Golden Fleece

Wonderful intaglio of Jason with the golden fleece, 1st/2nd century AD, in modern gold ring

In Roman times, intaglios such as this one were created for a wide variety of occasions. People had portraits of themselves or patron saints cut in 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, which is about 2,000 years old, may have been such a gift. Perhaps for someone who had performed a particularly honourable task. For depicted in the carnelian is Jason, the leader of the Agonatuen with the golden fleece. Homer tells us his story in the Odyssey (Homer: Odyssey 12.70). We see the Greek hero standing in contrapost, with the precious hide of the golden ram in his right hand and a sword pointed to the ground in his left. Jason is depicted helmeted, but otherwise naked, as in the famous Etruscan intaglio from the Bruschi Collection in the Museo Nazionale in Tarquinia. Cf. Erika Zierlein-Diehl: Antike Gemmen und ihr Nachleben, Berlin 2007, page 388, figure 320. The Roman carnelian originally came to us with its setting as part of a classicist bracelet of the years around 1800 from a Cologne collection, in which numerous Roman seal stones were worked. The simple ring band of high-carat gold with the two arches to the right and left of the stone setting was created in our workshop, the setting of the seal stone itself dates from around 1800. Thus the gem, which originated as a ring stone in Roman times, can now once again be worn on the finger with pleasure. And: You can certainly have worse companions than Jason, the one with the golden fleece.

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.


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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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