Description This intaglio shows the draped bust of a woman, possibly Isis or a Ptolemaic queen, in profile to the left. She is wearing a crescent crown atop corkscrew curls, which are first seen in royal portraits on coins of Cleopatra I (ca. 205-176 BCE). The hair style and the small crown on her head associate her with the image of the goddess Isis, but the wide open eyes and the heavy chin are typical features in portraits of Ptolemaic rulers. Rings with skillfully cut portraits of rulers were introduced during the Hellenistic period. Sources suggest that such rings were bestowed as gifts on esteemed military leaders or high officials.
- Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
- Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry. El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso. 2010.
Provenance John Stanhope, London, by 1748 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Philip Dormer Stanhope, fourth Earl of Chesterfield, London, 1748, by bequest; William Ponsonby, second Earl of Bessborough, Parkstead House, London, by 1761, by purchase [Bessborough no. 10 C]; George Spencer, fourth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, ca. 1765, by purchase [Marlborough no. 43]; George Spencer-Churchill, fifth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1817, by bequest; George Spencer-Churchill, sixth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1840, by bequest; John Spencer-Churchill, seventh Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1857, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 28 June 1875, p. 7, lot 43; David Bromilow, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, ca. 1875, by purchase; Julia Bromilow Jary, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, 1898, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems Purchased by the Late David Bromilow, esq., Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 26 June 1899, p. 8, lot 43; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1899, by purchase [Dikran Kelekian as agent]; Sadie Jones (Mrs. Henry Walters), New York, 1931, by bequest; Joseph Brummer, Paris and New York, 1941, by purchase [Brummer inv. no. N5143a]; Walters Art Museum, 1942, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase [formerly part of the Walters Collection], 1942
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