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A roman late republican amethyst intaglio. Emblema. End of 1st century B.C.14 x 17 x 5 mmIn the center, a Pileus between two daggers; in the field, the letters TI-LI and a crescent moon.The emblem is apparently inspired by the well known representation found on some rare coins minted under M. Brutus (for example, se the extraoronary Q. Servilius Caepio (M. Junius) Brutus AV Aureus. Military mint travelling with Brutus in the East, late summer-autumn, 42 B.C. L. Plaetorius Cestianus, moneyer. Bare head of Brutus to right; BRVT above, IMP before, L • PLAET • CEST behind / Pileus between two daggers of differing design, their points downwards; below, EID • MAR. A. Campana, Eidibus Martiis (forthcoming), 13 (O1/R6) and pl. 1,13 (this coin); Crawford; Sydenham; BMCRR - etc.). However, the gem seems to have different references and names, to be identified (“TILI” as an abbreviation of Atili?). Since there is no written reference to the Ides of March as in the coins, but an unidentified name, the meaning of this emblem is not entirely identifiable, probably referable to Brutus and his tyrannicide, perhaps by one of his political follower. The presence of the moon refers to an augural, magical but also commemorative value of the stone.This intaglio is characterized by stylistic details typical of the late Roman republican style, such as the globular elements, the rendering of the letters and daggers (as in the coins), in the composition and in the shape / choice of the stone variety (a very clear amethyst, almost transparent, with dark purple shades). The gem is expertly engraved and polished (the blades of the daggers take on a sharp and deadly aspect). The stone is characterized by signs of wear on the entire surface. Rare. U.K., private collection A.L., 70's-80's, London.

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