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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Classical Revival Seal Rings : Carnelian Intaglio Depicting the Goddess Fortuna
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Carnelian Intaglio Depicting the Goddess Fortuna - FJ.6495
Origin: Europe
Circa: 1700 AD to 1800 AD

Collection: Seal Rings/ Intaglios
Medium: Carnelian-Gold

Location: United States
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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 BC in Mesopotamia and 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 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 order to help explain the mysteries and the vagaries of life, the ancient Greeks and Romans created a vast pantheon of gods and goddesses. One of the most popular was Fortuna, the Roman identification of Tyche. Unlike other deities she possessed no myth, being regarded more as a concept. Particularly popular in Imperial Rome, she became an emblem of the providence and chance to which the world is subjected. Here we see her carrying a double cornucopia (horn of plenty) in her left hand and a patera ( a dish used for votive offerings) in her right. She is depicted as a very lovely woman, wearing a flowing chiton, coifed hair, with her left leg gracefully extended. Though ancient myths are no longer taken seriously, who would not want this beautiful goddess of fortune to be one's close companion?!
- (FJ.6495)


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