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Lot 0123
3rd century AD. A silver trichinopoly necklace with end-caps, hook-and-eye closure; series of pendants including an amphora, string of glass disc beads, three poppy-heads, three piriform vessels, another string of glass disc beads, hollow-formed ram's head and three hoops without pendant; the centrepiece a hollow-formed bust of Sol Invictus with radiate crown and mantle, with pendant bird below. 240 grams total with box, 43cm (box 19.5 x 13cm) (17 (7 3/4 x 5)"). Property of a central London gentleman; previously with a London, Mayfair, gallery in the early 1990s. The cult of Sol was not originally very prestigious but on the accession of Emperor Elagabalus in 218 AD, the new ruler began promoting the worship of the 'Undefeated Sun' (Sol Invictus) across the empire. Sol Invictus also played an important role in the Mithraic mysteries, and was equated with the god Mithras himself. The latter god was popular with the military while Sol was perhaps a less martial figure thus likely to appeal to a wider demographic group. The present piece bears the image of Sol Invictus and may relate to the period in which that cult was promoted, either by Elagabalus (218-222 AD) or by Aurelian (270-275 AD").


Fine condition.

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