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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Archive : Roman Carnelian Intaglio of a Roman Emperor, Eagle, Horse, Ram, and Goose
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Roman Carnelian Intaglio of a Roman Emperor, Eagle, Horse, Ram, and Goose - FJ.5220
Origin: Israel
Circa: 100 AD to 300 AD

Collection: Roman Seal Rings
Medium: Carnelian-Gold

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Mounted in a stunning 18 karat gold ring.

The art of glyptics, carving on colored semiprecious stones, is probably one of the oldest art forms known to man. Intaglios, gems with an incised design, were made as earl y 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. Nowhere is that artistry more dramatically displayed than in this carnelian intaglio, where the artist has brilliantly combined a number of forms into one striking image. On first impression, our eye sees the figure of a standing eagle. Upon closer examination we see that the head of the eagle is that of a horse, while the body is comprised of a bearded roman emperor, viewed in profile. Above the eagle's tail feathers, the head of a ram projects, giving the effect of a continuation of the bird's plumage. Above the ram's head, the long neck and head of a goose curves upward. To complete this powerful image, a spear appears behind the triumphant "eagle". Skillful carving and a keen eye for composition highlight this intaglio as a masterpiece of ancient artistry- -timeless in its ability to please our senses.
- (FJ.5220)


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