The oval-shaped onyx finely engraved to depict a satyr, fatigued by ecstatic throws, his face upturned to the heavens, his knees bent and arms limp, his clamys falling from his shoulders, a thyrsus in his left hand, a wine vessel falling from his right hand, mounted within a yellow gold ring, circa 1800, ring size 63. Intaglio dimensions: 27.5mm x 16.5mm Weight: 3.65 grams
Note The scene of dancing nymph or satyr, with their head thrown back in ecstasy, often with a thyrsus in their hand and wine jug cast aside in abandon, was a common depiction in relation to the ancient god Dionysus or Bacchus. The God of wine, merriment, intoxication and hedonistic abandon, the scene of the aftermath is rarer to find. In 1829 the Italian engraver Tommaso Cades (1772 or 1775 – after 1850) was commissioned to create gem impressions for the newly founded German Institute in Rome. The product was 78 volumes of gem casts. The first 53 were of ancient gems, and in volume no 9 there is a cast of a near-identical scene. This incredibly finely carved example must have been inspired by this same ancient gem.
Cf. CADES, T.: IMPRONTE DELL' INSTITUTO, LIBRO 9, CLASSE II, A NO. 141 'A SATYR IS TIRED OF THE BACCHIC FURY. WITH HIS RIGHT HAND HE HOLDS THE THYRSUS. FROM HIS SHOULDERS FALLS A LION SKIN. HE IS COVERED BY A CLAMIDE' for a plaster cast of an almost identical scene.