Five Roman Hardstone Intaglios, ca. 1st century AD, set as a bracelet.


Five ancient hard-stone intaglios are framed in 18K gold filigree in this enchanting bracelet.  From the left, the intaglios depict:  a carnelian bust of a male in left profile, a bloodstone warrior riding a horse, an inscribed quartzite Aphrodite with two Eros at her feet, a black intaglio of Athena and lastly, a carnelian intaglio of two portrait busts.

Also known as gem carving, the art of intaglio has been practiced as early as the 14th century B.C.E. by civilizations in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Phoenicia, and later Greece and Cyprus. The gemstone intaglio was one of the most popular jewelry designs, decorating two popular Roman jewelry items-the fibula and the ring. In fact, Roman men of social standing commonly wore intaglio rings, which were used to mark wax seals, a practice that continued for hundreds of years. Made by hand-carving or drilling materials such as precious metals, gemstones, shell, wood and clay, intaglios were often collected by wealthy Europeans traveling on their Grand Tour in the 19th century.

Condition:   All are intact, some with minor chipping to the edge, in very good condition overall.

Dimensions:  Bracelet Length: 18.5 cm (7.28 inches)

Provenance:  Private NYC collection, acquired from the trade, previously in a private UK collection.

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