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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Classical Revival Seal Rings : Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Japser Intaglio Depicting an Erotic Scene
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Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Japser Intaglio Depicting an Erotic Scene - FJ.6101
Origin: Europe
Circa: 1700 AD to 1800 AD

Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Jasper and Gold

Location: United States
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This antique jasper intaglio has been set in a modern 18 karat gold ring.

The art of glyptics, or carving images 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.

In the 18th century renewed interest in intaglios flourished, with many wealthy patrons commissioning jewelry to ornament their already highly ornamental apparel. Artists looked back to the ancients for inspiration and technique in an attempt to rival their predecessors. Along with an interest in standard mythology, there was a keen fascination in erotica that could be worn, such as this beautiful intaglio. The male and female are seen in the act of making love. The man's right foot is slightly lifted, giving the impression of his moving forward. The woman holds onto what appears to be a tripod basin. A clever touch is the long, lightweight scarf on the man's back, which serves to heighten their nakedness and provide a balance to the tripod, beautifully framing the scene. To wear this ring is to have the style of the aristocracy of 18th century Europe--those who established a spectacular fashion still admired today.
- (FJ.6101)


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