A Roman Bloodstone Intaglio of a Warrior, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st century CE
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The speckled dark green stone engraved with a warrior riding a galloping horse, wearing a helmet and holding a spear, set in a delicate 18 karat gold filigree setting.
Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a variety of green jasper speckled with red spots that were thought to have several magical properties throughout antiquity. The ancient Romans believed it brought the wearer renown and favor, endurance, the ability to control the weather, banish evil and negativity, would slow bleeding wounds (a reason Roman soldiers commonly wore bloodstone talismans), and protect against the bite of venomous animals, and according to Pliny the Elder, even allowed magicians to become invisible.
Dimensions: Pendant length without bail: 7/8 inch (2.2 cm). Strung on a 24-inch chain of 14K gold.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired from the trade, previously in a private UK collection.