Seller: wear-the-past (1,927) 99.7%, Location: Salisbury, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 371789580908 This is an ancient Roman carnelian intaglio, dating to the 2nd - 3rd century A.D. It is simply wheel cut with an image of a seated quadruped. I believe this to be an early representation of a giraffe, known during the Roman period as a 'Camelopard' (cross between a camel and a leopard). Romans first saw this creature, after Julius Caesar brought one back from Alexandria. On this gem, the artist has managed to capture the form of the giraffe, seated under a tree, its long neck curved behind to reach at the branches. The giraffe is seated with its long legs in the manner of a camel, though the ears and 'ossicones' are not found on camels! This is a rare and unusual ancient gem, originally mounted into a silver or gold finger ring. Intaglios acted as a personal signatures, for sealing letters and transactions. It would be easy to image the original owner to have been a merchant (of exotic animals for the arenas,) or someone with an interest in zoology. Today this gem has survived in excellent excavated condition, ideal to be remounted into a gold signet ring.OBJECT: Intaglio You learn something new everyday!CULTURE: RomanDATE: c. 2nd - 3rd century A.D.MATERIAL: CarnelainSIZE: 10.83mm x 9.72mm x 2.59mmWEIGHT: 0.4 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: Excellent excavated condition, minor abrasion and wear, small chip of no consequence. Rare subject can be remounted., Type: Intaglio, Provenance: Ex. European private collection, Material: Carnelian, Colour: Orange, Culture: Roman, Date: 2nd - 3rd century A.D.