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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Seal Pendants : Classical Revival Intaglio depicting a Bust of a Roman Empress
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Classical Revival Intaglio depicting a Bust of a Roman Empress - FJ.5318
Origin: Europe
Circa: 1700 AD to 1900 AD

Collection: Ancient Seal/ Intaglio
Medium: Agate-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 empress, carved from the beautifully translucent stone, agate.

Agate, a member of the quartz family formed in the recesses of volcanic rocks, is found in a variety of colors: green, red, gray, brown and striped. Since antiquity, agate has been one of the most popular stones for talismans, its use continuing into modern times. Remarkable powers are ascribed to each of the different varieties and early amuletic examples exist from the Sumerian and Egyptian cultures dating back four millennia before Christ. In addition to jewelry, agate was carved into cups, dishes and a variety of works of art. The Roman naturalist Pliny records that pharmacists favored mortar and pestles crafted from agate, a practice which is still common today. As an amulet, gray or white agate prevents neck problems and stomach upset. All varieties of agate are useful for curing insomnia and inducing pleasant dreams and are thought to have a universally positive effect on those who wear them.
- (FJ.5318)


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