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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Archive : Roman Intaglio depicting two Fortunas
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Roman Intaglio depicting two Fortunas - FJ.6346
Origin: Haiffa/ Israel
Circa: 100 AD to 300 AD

Collection: Roman Seal Rings/ Intaglios
Medium: Agate-Gold

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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This intaglio is set in an 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 BC in Mesopotamia and the 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.

This very lovely intaglio shows two Fortunas holding their precious cornucopias and clasping hands. Above them is a bust wearing a helmet or hat; perhaps Athena or Mercury respectively. The brilliant yellow of the agate provides a perfect background for the meeting of two popular deities, twins of the same concept, who brought wealth and prosperity. During the Imperial period, emperors had their own personal Fortuna. It was also the custom of emperors to give intaglios to favorites of the court. Perhaps this intaglio was once worn by such a person. It is hoped the next one to wear it is blessed by the double good fortune only two Fortunas can bring.
- (FJ.6346)


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