Ring with Bellerophon Spearing the Chimaera
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Santa Eufemia Master
Greek, South Italy, about 350 - 300 B.C.
13/16 x 9/16 x 5/16 in.

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Riding his winged horse Pegasos, the Greek hero Bellerophon slays the monstrous Chimaera on this gold ring. A South Italian goldsmith constructed the elaborate box bezel from sheet gold and decorated it with gold floral filigree on all sides. He made the repoussé scene of Bellerophon separately and attached it to the bezel as an appliqué. Using a link of a gold chain for the ring's hoop, he masked the join of the hoop and bezel with palmettes.

Box bezel rings are rare, and this example is unique in its rendering of a complex mythological scene on the bezel. The theme of Bellerophon and the Chimaera may have been adapted from vases. It was a popular motif among South Italian vase-painters in the later 300s B.C.

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