Intaglio Jewelry :
Classical Revival Seal Rings : Carnelian Intaglio with Figure of a Young Man or Deity
Carnelian Intaglio with Figure of a Young Man or Deity - FJ.5633
Collection: Seal Rings/ Intaglios
Additional Information: This intaglio is set in an 18K gold ring.
Location: United States
| Photo Gallery
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 millennnia BC in Mesopotamia and the
Aegean Islands. They display 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 neccessary since the minerals
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. Carnelian was one
of the most popular stones for engraving in the
Classical Revival, due to its rich red color which
contrasts so beautifully with gold. The
connoisseurs of the 18th. Century delighted in
images and scenes which harkened back to the
'Arcadian' paradise of Greek myths and legends.
This exquisite intaglio shows a standing naked
youth holding a spear and two palm branches.
Surrounding him is a cornucopia (symbol of
fortune), a brazier spewing fire, crescent moon
and star. Thus we see symbols for prosperity,
paradise and spirit, revolving on a background of
fire, symbol of life and health. With such
propitious emblems, this ring will surely bring
good luck to its new owner.