Hercules was a mythological figure, fierce warrior and the son of Zeus, king of all the gods and goddesses. In Greek mythology, he was known as Herakles.
His exploits and arduous adventures were told and retold throughout the classical empire. Even wrestling with death itself, he waged battles against many enemies.
Known for his 12 labors, all elaborate stories of his strength and heroics, one of them was to save the people from the Erymanthian boar, terrorizing their mountain.
This exceptional intaglio is carved with three entwined images. Each one faces a different direction. The first is of Hercules as a young man, whose image rests vertically and faces outward. when the ring is turned 180 degrees, this reveals the likeness of an old man. He may symbolize Hercules as an old man, or possibly the king of Tiryns who rules over the people of Erymanthian.
Lastly if you view the ring horizontally, at one end is the image of the boar that he slew.
During the period from around 1790 to the 1820s, there was a marked revival in classical antiquity brought forth by archaeological expeditions uncovering great treasures.
The 15k yellow gold ring is a classic archetype of those found during the 1790s.
It is one of only two ever found and collected by the owner purchased in London in approximately 2004. Search for item 20493 on our website for more about the history of gryllus carvings.