Antique Intaglio Cut Poseidon/Neptune Ring
You hear the story, you see Antiques Road Show, and still it sounds so cliche. But yes, this was an estate find while cleaning out their attic. Best guess is that it was a pass-down from a Grand or Great-Grandparent. From style, cut, theme, etc., we estimate this is late 1800s, possibly early 1900s. Old!
In mythology there's an ongoing debate about Neptune or Poseidon. To the Romans it was Neptune; to the Greeks it was Poseidon. Many think "Same Guy, different name." We like Poseidon - you can call it either. But both Greeks and Romans agree, if the artwork is a bearded guy with long hair with a Trident, it's Poseidon/Neptune. And that's what we have here.
The image is created in Intaglio - it is cut into the gemstone. This was the style of Signet Rings. Cameos on the other hand are carved in relief - a 3D rendering. Intaglio, too, isn't seen much today. An older art, and few contemporary craftsmen around to do this detailed work. The setting is custom made. Obviously. There are 3 Tines on the Trident, and 4 points on each shoulder of the ring. This likely represents the crown sometimes seen worn in images of Poseidon/Neptune. Whatever the symbolism, the detail is stunning.
The Intaglio remains crisp and highly detailed. It is a larger piece with strong presence. The face of the ring measures 19mm x 13mm. No shyness here. There are no issues with the gemstone. All is in exceptionally good condition for its age. The ring is a size 8.25 (8 1/4) and has a weight of 4.5 grams.