The J. Paul Getty Museum

Ring with a Siren, a Sphinx, and a Hippocamp

Object Details

Title:

Ring with a Siren, a Sphinx, and a Hippocamp

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Etruscan

Place:

Etruria; Magna Graecia (Place Created)

Date:

550–500 B.C.

Medium:

Gold

Object Number:

85.AM.268

Dimensions:

1.9 × 0.9 cm (3/4 × 3/8 in.)

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Object Description

Three composite creatures of Greek mythology--a siren, a sphinx, and a hippocamp--decorate the bezel of this gold ring. The cartouche-shaped ring form was especially popular in Etruria in the later 500s B.C., where immigrant Greek goldsmiths from Ionia introduced it. The choice of motifs and style of decoration on this ring are also found on objects in other media produced by these Ionian immigrant artists.

All Greek and Etruscan metal rings with engraved bezels ultimately derive from Egyptian and Phoenician cartouche rings. The influence is clearest on those rings with a long, straight-sided bezel with rounded ends. Artisans adapted the arrangement of the decoration into three rows, as well as the manufacturing technique of a separately attached bezel, from the Phoenicians.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1983 - 1985

Dr. Athos Moretti (Bellinzona, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum through Bank Leu, A.G., 1985.

Bibliography
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 197, no. 73.1.

Spier, Jeffrey. Ancient Gems and Finger Rings: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992), p. 38, cat. no. 64.