Roman gold gryllos intaglio ring

A high carat gold Roman ring with the intaglio of a gryllos.

Grylloi are fantasy creatures that were very popular in ancient time, like the sfinxes, chimaera, sirenes and griffons that you see on vases and jewelry. The creature in this ring is a gryllos; a creature that consists of a combination of masks and faces with different animal and human elements. This particular gryllos consists of a bald Silene head with a beard on birds legs, on his head is an eagle with a palm branch in his beak and an Eros on his back.

The intaglio was most likely not used as a seal but as a talisman and jewel. The gryllos was thought to have magical and symbilic power. The Silene stands for fertility as he is the patron of the bees and their honey is important for Demeter’s rituals. Eros brings a love element to the gryllos, and the eagle is Zeus’ companion and symbolizes power and victory of good over evil.

weight: 17.8 grams
ring size: 18 mm. 8 US.
dimensions intaglio: 1.3 x 0.8 cm.

Literature: “Grilloi en combinaties op Romeinse ringstenen”, Selkit Verberk, doctoraal scriptie UVA 1993.

PeriodEarly jewellery

Please find me a jewel like this