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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Archive : Classical Revival Intaglio of a Homosexual Couple
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Classical Revival Intaglio of a Homosexual Couple - FJ.6782
Origin: Europe
Circa: 18 th Century AD

Medium: Carnelian-Gold

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Classical Revival Carnelian Intaglio Depicting a Homosexual Couple Engaged in Fellatio

This Gorgeous Seal 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. The 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. A scene quite unbecoming of refined Victorian tastes has been carved onto the polished face of this precious gemstone. A pair of bearded men are engaged in an act of fellatio as one man rest on his knees and pleasures the other man as well as himself. Such a bawdy scene is surely an imitation of earlier classical examples which were quite common. In antiquity, this pairing would have had little of the stigma attached with it today. In addition, erotica was openly accepted, if not flaunted. Perhaps no other seal better conveys the longing of Classical Revival artists to reconnect with the past for such an scene would surely have been controversial to the tastes of polite 18th Century European society.
- (FJ.6782)


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