A wonderful Roman coiled snake ring. The bronze is in fine condition with good detail to the snakes head and scales. Lovely dark green patina and wearable.
Snakes featured heavily in the myths of ancient Greece and Rome. They were reviled for their ability to shed their skin, making them a symbol of regeneration and rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing.
Dimensions: Internal dia. 18mm (ring size R UK) External dia. 22mm approx.
Provenance: Ex. private collection, UK.
Snakes featured heavily in the myths of ancient Greece and Rome. They were reviled for their ability to shed their skin, making them a symbol of regeneration and rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. The goddess Salus
The typology of Romano-British snake rings is based on over 40 examples in the Snettisham Jeweller's hoard. This is a collection of Romano-British
The hoard included a variety of completed Roman rings, illustrating the range of variation available to a provincial jeweller. There were many snake-rings, with a snake's head stamped in low relief at either end of a silver ribbon which would then be bent into shape. There were also Snake-bracelets, like the snake-rings, produced by stamping with a hammer and dies.
As the Snettisham hoard appears to have been from a single workshop, the typology may not necessarily have any wider relevance. It is also based on complete rings, with type A consisting of a single snake coiled or spiralled around the finger in a straight line, the head and tail turned outwards or backwards. Type B (penannular) are the commonest having two snake-head terminals, either thick and three-dimensional or flat and stylised; and type C two or more complete snakes. Most snake-rings found are incomplete (just the terminals) making them difficult to type.
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