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Pasquale asks about this strange piece.

I purchased this  ( 7cm high)  from the heirs of a person sold me many archaeological items. I think it is  carved stone but I don't know what type of stone. A note from the seller mentions : the young Hadrian and a centurion. It is carved  on every side and it reminds the carved amber.

Surely the  particular symbols represent something for example there seems to be part of a temple under ''Hadrian'' with a pair  of facs ,on other side a Roman ''centurione'' and on one side there is a standard with  one open hand, Have you seen similar pieces? Do you know how to explain the symbols?




Interesting but never seen anything like it.

If it is genuinely ancient I wonder if it  is something actually made a by a Roman soldier. I have from time to time come across rather odd looking and somewhat amateurish little pieces of handiwork which were apparently made by soldiers.


Yes, certainly looks like a centurion and maybe the bust wearing the laurel wreath is the Emperor: and Hadrian wore a bear of course.


And yes, that looks like the top of a Roman army standard and the hand reminds me of the centurial signum at the top of which was either a spearhead or a hand but at the top carved  there is an eagle not the hand. Each Centuria in the Roman army  had a  Signifer.  He was standard bearer of the centurial signum. At the top an open hand to signify loyalty and the oath taken by the soldiers.


In  this coin you can see a signum on the right.


I don't know a standard with the hand below the eagle. If you can  do some research and find an example like that you might be able to identify the piece... if it is genuinely ancient.


Maybe other collectors will have some ideas and opinion . 

From Hussam


I wonder if it is amber.


Yes, and indeed Pasquale said it had remineded him of amber carved pieces.

Amber has many appearances. The colour can vary a lot  but the surface is often fairly characteristic.

Also it will feel rather lighter than a simialr piece carved in stone.

Worth comparing with the very good photos of amber pieces in the Getty Museum.

Really wonderful photographs and a great deal of information.


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