An intaglio ring in the antique taste

French, c.1880


mounted with an oval intaglio of a bull bound with ivy around its middle and standing on a groundline denoted by the thyrsus of Dionysus lying horizontally, carved in a beautifully figured piece of bloodstone, mounted in a yellow gold ring in the Hellenistic taste, the shoulders decorated with twisted wirework.

Stamped with the French eagle’s head mark for 18ct gold.

In Greek mythology the bull was a symbol of Dionysus, the god of wine, male fertility and pleasure. The ivy and the thyrsus are also attributes of Dionysus.

UK ring size: N


The composition of the intaglio is very similar to an engraving in carnelian signed in Greek ΥΛΛΟΥ, a plaster impression of which is included in the collection compiled by Tommaso Cades. A closely comparable engraving was also in the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski in onyx.