The cameo displayed in this 14k yellow gold ring is called a gryllus. Many jewelry connoisseurs and professional jewelry historians are not even aware of this form of cameo. The name itself stems from classical Latin and refers to a cricket or a caricature.
Although found in the seal art of the middle ages, the actual date of origin is uncertain. Typically grylli feature conjoined human faces with those of horses or eagles. These combinations acted as a protective talisman for the wearer. A number of different images can be seen yet they all tend to morph into just one. At times the carving must be oriented in different directions to see the entire image.
Banded agate has been superbly carved with exquisite detail. The hardstone has the palest hues on the top and segues to a deep cinnamon red at the base. Please note that the base and image(s) are all carved from one agate; no additional stone has been applied.
This particular cameo carving has five images in one! Often there are only two or three depictions carved. This one is remarkable having five. Turned one way, the face of a man with long hair and wearing a hat is looking towards the right. In the hat is yet another face looking forward and also sporting a hat.
By turning the ring 180 degrees you can see three faces - on the top a full face with hair and eyes, nose and mouth; then a face with an eye and nose; and finally, behind that is just the suggestion of a face with a nose. The carving is most probably reset set into this 14k yellow gold mounting by the Lambert Brothers of New York, jewelers par excellence founded in 1877.
FYI: the owner of The Three Graces maintains a private collection of gryllus rings.