SILVER DOG SEAL RING
Ancient Roman, Circa 2nd Century AD
An attractive and substantial Roman Imperial period silver seal ring. The bezel is strongly carved with an intaglio image of a dog with long tail and reverted head. In the field above its haunch is a crescent and star. The shoulders of the distinctive band are carved with chevrons. The unusual shape of the band (wide shoulders and an oval cross section) is characteristic of rings of the early Roman Empire.
This ring is in an excellent state of preservation with some surface toning.
The Signet, or Seal Ring, was significant in Roman society, as it was used in validating serious legal documents by its owner. Intaglios, and engraved or intaglio-cut gems could serve as seals, even while appearing decorative. Cicero mentions them, and Pliny cites that the fashion of wearing signet rings eventually shifted to the little finger. A signet ring was highly representative of the individual who wore it. It was, in effect, his or her signature.