- Museum number
Cameo; onyx; bearded man in biga to left, right hand raised, holding whip; horses guided by angel flying above them - scene of the ascent of the prophet Elijah.
- Production date
Length: 0.92 inches
- Curator's comments
- Published: DACL, Paris, 1924, col 841, no 183, fig 5064.
Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl. 98.
When the Roman Empire first became officially and increasingly Christianized, its grasp of the new iconography was inclined to be tenuous, and artists often relied on themes inherited from classical antiquity, which they transformed by the use of appropriate symbolism to suit the new faith. The winged figure of Victory, either driving her own chariot (Pl. 50) or flying above the charioteer to guide, protect and crown him, had been familiar for centuries throughout the classical world and needed little adaptation. On the onyx gem with a layer of blue between the two brown sections, a bearded man holding up a whip in his right hand is shown driving a chariot drawn by two horses under the direction of an angel who hovers above the team on outstretched wings.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: OA.6504 (?)