Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Finger Ring Engraved with a Man Riding a Horse
Other Titles
Former Title: Seal Ring with Man Riding Horse
Work Type
mid 4th-3rd century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Northern Greece?
Classical period, Late, to Hellenistic
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Copper alloy
Cast, lost-wax process
1.9 x 2.2 x 2.3 cm (3/4 x 7/8 x 7/8 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The patina is green and red with brown accretions and areas of green. Corrosion products obscure some detail. The ring appears to be “as excavated;” there is no evidence of cleaning.

The ring was solid cast in one piece. The wax model from which it was made could have been cast or worked directly or both. The condition of the surface prevents the determination of which technique was used. It does not appear to have details fine enough to indicate cold working of the bronze.

Henry Lie (submitted 2002)

David M. Robinson, Baltimore, MD, (by 1949), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1960.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of David M. Robinson
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
In the ring’s current state of preservation, the figure riding the horse is difficult to make out. The horse appears to be rearing but may be rampant (1). The front legs are raised high in the air, one deeply arched. Some of the musculature of the horse is evident, especially in the upper hind legs. The tail is also strongly arched. A ground line is indicated. The scene could simply portray an equestrian figure, or it could represent a military victory, a hunt, or, less likely, an agonistic competition or even a myth. The bezel has a rounded form with a hoop, and the workmanship of the engraving is summary.


1. Compare a ring of similar size and motif in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 67.37.2.

Seán Hemingway

Publication History

Fogg Art Museum, The David Moore Robinson Bequest of Classical Art and Antiquities, A Special Exhibition, exh. cat., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1961), p. 42, no. 387.

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at