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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Seal Pendants : Classical Revival Intaglio depicting the Bust of a Roman Emperor
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Classical Revival Intaglio depicting the Bust of a Roman Emperor - FJ.5319
Origin: Europe
Circa: 1700 AD to 1900 AD

Collection: Seal Pin,Pendant
Medium: Lapis Lazuli-Gold

Location: United States
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Mounted in a stunning 18 karat gold pendant.

The art of glyptics, carving on colored semiprecious stones, is possibly one of the oldest art forms known to man. Intaglios, gems with an incised design, were made as early as the fourth and third millennia B.C. In Mesopotamia and the Aegean islands, their virtuosity of execution suggesting an old tradition rooted in the earlier centuries. However, the gems from ancient Greece and Rome are worthy of special interest for it was then and there that the expressive and aesthetic language of glyptics was truly born. It was also during this period that portrait gems emerged. This intaglio, created during the classical revival period, evidences the continuing classic glyptic tradition of exceptional artistry and beauty. Here we see the striking image of a Roman emperor, carved from the beautiful stone, lapis lazuli.

Lapis is a rare metamorphic rock produced by the interaction of granite like magma with marble. With Chile being the primary source of the gemstone, it is no wonder that it was worked by the Incas in pre-Columbian times and continues to be produced in that country today. Lapis was also available in the old world. In Egypt, carved lapis lazuli beads, scarabs, pendants and inlaid jewelry date back to as early as 3100 B.C. esteemed as both a gem and an amulet, lapis was also ground into powder and used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Old world royalty adorned themselves with lapis. The tomb of Queen Pu-Abi 2500 B.C. in the city of Ur in Sumer contained adornments rich with lapis, including three gold headpieces and two bead necklaces. During the time of Confucius (ca. 551-479 B.C. the Chinese carved lapis hair and belt ornaments. As early as the fourth century B.C. the Greeks used lapis for carving scarabs, while later in Rome lapis was fashioned into intaglios.
- (FJ.5319)


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