Greek Gold Ring with Odysseus
An ancient Greek gold finger ring, bezel incised with a bearded male, holding an unstrung bow and arrow in his left hand and a walking stick in his right.
Ca. 5th -4th century BC.
The figure is identifiable as Odysseus in Book 22 of the Odyssey, when the hero returns home to Ithaca, casts off his disguise and prepares to slaughter Penelope's suitors. Walking sticks were typical attributes of old men in Greek art of the period and the bow and arrow were weapons most closely associated with wily Odysseus. The hero's stealthy posture likewise hints at the gruesome ambush he is about to unleash.
Formerly in a New York private collection.