Intaglio Jewelry :
Classical Revival Seal Rings : Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Carnelian Intaglio of Two Lovers
Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Carnelian Intaglio of Two Lovers - FJ.6729
Location: United States
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This Antique Seal 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.
The Classical Revival was a phenomenon that
swept across Europe during 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. On
this stunning intaglio, a pair of lovers is
represented joined in an intimate embrace. The
ribald subject matter is typical of the Classical
era where morals were relaxed and sexuality was
openly flaunted without guilt or hesitance.
Today, this seal might appear shocking, as it
surely did when it was carved; however, this
image is not offensive, instead it is a link to the
past through an action that is as old and eternal
as mankind itself.