The J. Paul Getty Museum

Ring

Object Details

Title:

Ring

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Greek

Place:

Greece (Place Created)

Date:

3rd century B.C.

Medium:

Gold

Object Number:

85.AM.278

Dimensions:

1.8 × 1.6 cm (11/16 × 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

A bee decorates the engraved bezel of this Greek gold ring. On either side of the insect, the Greek letters epsilon and phi signal an abbreviated form of the name of the ancient Greek city of Ephesos, in modern Turkey. In both the motif and the letters, the bezel closely copies the coins of this city.

Several other rings and gems with this design have survived; they may have been a sort of souvenir from the Sanctuary of Artemis at Ephesos, whose cult enjoyed a wide popularity and had a connection with bees. The insects appear on many surviving reproductions of the cult statue of Artemis of Ephesos, and other representations of bees have been found in the sanctuary.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1983 - 1985

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

Bibliography
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 197, no. 73.11.

Spier, Jeffrey. Ancient Gems and Finger Rings: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992), p. 38, cat. no. 63.

Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 10.

Gerring, Britta. Sphragides: Die gravierten Fingerringe des Hellenismus. BAR International Series 848. (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2000), p. 146, cat. no. IX 49, fig. 49.

Killen, Simone. Parasema. Offizielle Symbole griechischer Poleis und Bundesstaaten (Archäologisches Forschungen 36). (Berlin: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, 2017), p. 235, no. 2, pl. 26, 4.5.