Description A rare example of the gem-carver's art is this lapis lazuli eagle, possibly the finial (top) of an imperial scepter. Lapis enjoyed great popularity in the late Roman and Early Byzantine periods as its rich purple-blue color was associated with royalty. From the 3rd century on, the emperor, often appears on coins and medallions carrying an eagle scepter, emblem of victory and authority.
- World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
Provenance Affaitati, Naples, by purchase; Piero Tozzi, New York, prior to 1942, by purchase; Philip B. Perlman, Baltimore, 1944, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1944, by gift.
Credit Gift of Mr. Philip B. Perlman, 1944
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