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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Classical Revival Seal Rings : Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Intaglio Depicting Poseidon
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Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Intaglio Depicting Poseidon - FJ.5351
Origin: Europe
Circa: 1700 AD to 1900 AD

Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Carnelian and Gold

Additional Information: SOLD
Location: United States
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This antique carnelian seal has bee mounted in a modern 18 karat gold ring.

Gem engraving is a miniaturistic art form whereby designs are cut into or on the surface of a gem. Intaglios, gemstones with an incised design below the surface of the gem, were made as early as the fourth and third millennia B.C. In Mesopotamia and the Aegean. However, it was in ancient Greece and Rome that the expressive and aesthetic language of gem engraving was truly born. The classic artisans carried engraving to an artistic level higher than ever seen before, borrowing their diverse themes from epic poetry and famous legends of gods and heroes.

In this stunning example, created during the later classical revival period, we see spirited beauty and exceptional craftsmanship displayed in an agate intaglio depicting the Greek god Poseidon. Legend has it that after Poseidon and his two brothers Zeus and Hades disposed of their father, Cronus, each brother drew lots from a helmet to as certain who would receive lordship of the sky, sea and underworld, leaving the earth common to all. Zeus won the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon won the sea. Here we see this skillfully carved intaglio depicting the image of the Olympian god Poseidon in his aquatic domain. Riding atop the back of a dolphin, his right hand holds the tailfin of the fish, while his left hand grasps his characteristic attribute, the trident. A skillful rendering of waves and a swimming fish beneath the dolphin adds a flowing movement to the engraved scene, as we imagine Poseidon moving confidently across the waves on his compliant dolphin. Clearly, the classical revival artist has captured forever a moment in mythological history, adapting the ancient Greek legends to the gemstone medium that he was so skilled at engraving.
- (FJ.5351)


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