Minotaur roman intaglio seal (signet) silver cufflinks
The minotaur was a mythical half-man half-bull beast that was the son of Minos king of Crete and the Minoan empire and lived in a labyrinth allegedly under the palace of Knossos. The mighty Minos threatened to invade Athens if Aegeas (the Athenian king) didn't comply to sending 5 young men and 5 young women every year to feed the beast. Aegeas sent to Crete his brave son Theseus, who managed to kill the minotaur and find his way out of the labyrinth and back home again. Alas as in most Greek tales though, tragedy eventually struck. Theseus amidst celebrations aboard his ship, forgot his fathers orders, upon their return his crew were to set white sales if he was victorious, or red sales if he was dead). When the ship approached the Athens harbour, Aegeas seeing the red sales and assuming his son had lost to the minotaur jumped off the cliffs.
The original intaglio carving from which this fine carving (in sterling silver) has been created cast from was 1st Century BC and is of Roman origin.
|Depiction||Bulls & Minotaurs|
|Historic Period||Era: Roman|
|Material||Solid Sterling Silver|
|Length (top to bottom)||16 mm (5⁄8in)|
|Width||13 mm (33⁄64in)|