Weight 10.08 g, bezel 3.25 × 2.27 cm. Inv. Nos. Misc. 7066 / FG 11067.Berlin, State Museums, Old Museum
Weight 10.08 g, bezel 3.25 × 2.27 cm.
Berlin, State Museums, Old Museum
(Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Altes Museum).
50. Two rings from the Petescia hoard.
Late Hellenistic-Roman, c. 50 BC to AD 20.
Found in Petescia, modern Turania, north of Rome, in 1875.
Misc. 7051 and Misc. 7066 = FG 11067.
Acquired through W. Helbig in Rome in 1876.
Section 8.15,15 and 13.
The Petescia hoard, found in a village in the Umbrian Sabine mountains, was the most important purchase made for the jewellery collection of the Berlin Antiquarium in the 19th century. The entry in the accession register for May 1876 contains 38 items [Misc. 7041-7078]. Six pairs of bracelets, two single bracelets, and one pair of torсs — these 16 gold objects weighing more than 3 kilos were all stolen from the Central Repository at Schloss Celle in 1946/47; drawings which W. Helbig had done in Rome in March 1876, and which are now kept in the German Archaeological Institute in Rome, record more precisely than pre-war photographs the decoration and construction of these rings (see the endpapers of this book). A gold laurel wreath and 13 gold finger rings with Cameos, gems or cut stones — aquamarines, emeralds, garnets and chrysoliths — are preserved as well as a solid gold finger ring, a silver bracelet, the silver head of a fulcrum, two fragmentary silver beakers with remains of Erotes decoration, a silver shell pyxis, a silver frog employed as a pendant, and two small objects made of amber.
The heavy gold ring was solid cast and chased afterwards (external D.: without head
The large finger ring set with a cornelian onyx is the only one among the 13 from the Petescia hoard which is sufficiently big for a man’s finger (externally
It belongs — next to the largest ring with Medusa cameo — to the earliest objects of the Petescia hoard; the a necklaces and bracelets, most of the finger rings — including a cornelian cameo with the portrait of the empress Livia —
The enormous value of the pure gold, that was used for the (lost) necklaces and bracelets alone, the especially clear precious stones, and the first class craftsmanship that was expended on them point to imperial patronage, although the quality of the silver objects is not nearly in the same league.
Publ.: Greifenhagen I 77 ff., pl. 58,7+9, pl. 59,6 and 59,4, colour pl. VII, 3; Antikenmuseum 1988, 355, Case 24,1b, Nos. 16 and 23; L. Pirzio Biroli Stefanelli, L’oro dei Romani (1992) 23, figs. 11-13, 231, Nos. 10 and 12; T. Springer, “Ein Hort von Dona Militaria”, in: Acta Praeh. et Arch. 25, 1993, 265 ff.; G. Platz-Horster, in: Archäologischer Kalender 1998, Verlag Philipp von Zabern Mainz, 25. Mai — 7. Juni 1998; G. Alvino, “Turania”, in: La Valle del Turano sulle tracce dell’antico (Rieti 1999) 19f., fìgs. 3 and 7.
On the find as a whole and the circumstances surrounding its purchase, see: G. Platz-Horster, “Der Schatzfund von Petescia”, in: Prospettiva, In memoria di Mauro Cristofani, ed. B. Adembri (Rome, in press).
On the Jupiter ring, cf: E. Vernier, Cat. Général des Ant. Égyptiennes du Musée du Caire. Bijoux et Orfèvreries vols. I—
On the Satyr and Nymph ring, see: O. M. Dalton, Cat. of the Engraved Gems of the Post-Classical Periods, British Museum London (1915) 21, pl. VII, 133. The onyx cameo, said to be 16th century work inscribed COCTPAT for “Sostratos” was acquired in 1815; it requires an ancient model which corresponds compositionally with the one found at Petescia in 1875.