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Early Christian Art


J004
Late Roman Hematite magic gem of Solomon in modern 18K gold pendant
3rd century AD. L. 2. 7 cm. (1 1/8 in.) (including gold setting);
Width: 2.5 cm.. (1 in.) (including gold setting).
Missing part of lower contour.

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The oval gem depicting in intaglio the image of a rider spearing a demon lying under his galloping horse.
On the reverse is a Greek inscription: "Sphrages Teoy" (-The Seal of God).

The rider is the Holy Rider - Solomon, spearing the demon Lilith.
This magic gem is one of the prototypes for the long series of depictions of Solomon's seals. The image of Solomon is more Hellenistic than Roman; he resembles Alexander the Great rather than a Roman Emperor. Other gems of this type bear the Greek inscription: Solomons. Later versions are in bronze, and the image of the Holy Rider was finally attributed to St. George.

For a parallel in the Israel Antiquities Authority Collection (1931.2)
Cf. Goodenough, E. R., 1953, Vol. II p. 227, Vol. III fig. 1046.

Another parallel is in the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem ,
Cf. Goodnick Westenholz, J., Bible Lands Museum, 2000, pp. 97-101, ibid, fig. 1047. Ref. Bonner, C., Studies in Magical Amulets, Chiefly Graeco-Egyptian, [Humanistic Series 49], Ann Arbor, 1950: 208-211; pl. XIV, nos. 294-299; pl. XV, nos. 300-311; pl. XVI, nos. 312-319.



Goodnick Westenholz, J., - Jerusalem, 2000
Goodnick Westenholz, J., editor, Images of Inspiration. The Old Testament in Early Christian Art, Exh. cat., Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, 2000

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Late Roman Hematite magic gem of Solomon in modern 18K gold pendant



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