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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Miscellaneous : Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Carnelian Intaglio of the God Hermes
Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Carnelian Intaglio of the God Hermes - FJ.6798
Origin: Europe
Circa: 18 th Century AD

Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Carnelian and Gold

Location: United States
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This Gorgeous Intaglio Has Been Mounted in a Modern 18 Karat Gold Ring

The art of glyptics, or carving on colored precious stones, is probably one of the oldest known to humanity. Intaglios, gems with an incised design, were made as early as the fourth and third millennia B.C. in Mesopotamia and the Aegean Islands. They exhibit a virtuosity of execution that suggests an old and stable tradition rooted in the earliest centuries. The tools required for carving gems were simple: a wheel with a belt-drive and a set of drills. Abrasives were necessary since the minerals used were too hard for a metal edge. A special difficulty of engraving intaglios, aside from their miniature size, was that the master had to work with a mirror-image in mind.

The Classical Revival was a phenomenon that swept through Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries. A new appreciation for antiquity and ancient art forms was fostered by discoveries in the nascent scientific field of archaeology. Perhaps the Classical Revival also reveals a latent longing towards the Arcadian lifestyles of yesterday abandoned as Europe became rapidly industrialized and increasingly urbanized. The engraved image of a male figure decorates the surface of this precious gemstone. This image is likely a representation of Hermes or Mercury, the messenger of the gods and protector of land travelers and merchants. The figure wears the wide brimmed hat typical of Hermes and holds the heralds staff, again characteristic of this god. Yet while his main attribute, winged sandals, is lacking, his speed and stealth is represented by a small bird he holds in his left hand. Hermes is traditionally one of the most popular Classical deities and today, his image survives as the logo of a major floral delivery company. This stunning ring is a memorial to the glories of Ancient Greece and Rome as interpreted through the eyes of 18th century Europe. Wearing this ring, one exhibits a style and class that has survived the test of time.
- (FJ.6798)


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