An important greek agate intaglio. Bust of Zeus with letters.
2nd century B.C.
Beautiful and refined effigy of the ruler of the gods, facing left and with the laureated head, a symbol of power and victory. This gem, clearly engraved by a greek artist, shows a powerful portrait of Zeus, characterized by an aquiline nose, a slightly open mouth, globular eye. The hair is thick and falls flowing with long locks on the draped shoulder; the beard is also very thick and skilfully engraved. The carving is mirror polished, while the bottom shows signs of ancient wear. There are four greek letters in the field, around the portrait: Γ- ΔO-Y. Probably a dedication of the ancient owner, a fervent devotee of the cult of Zeus: Γ- as the initial of his name and ΔOY- for "Doulos", that is slave in the sense of faithful devotee. The back of the stone is slightly cabochon. The portrait is close to the iconography of some hellenistic dynasties of Pergamum of the Attalide dynasty. Very fine execution. Slight wear marks. Rare.
U.K. private collection
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