13th Sep, 2017 11:00

Fine Art Sale

Lot 190


An important archaeological Roman intaglio set necklace

An important archaeological Roman intaglio set necklace. 27 Roman hardstone intaglios, mainly of the 1st century CE, set in a later 19th century yellow gold necklace. The rub over “Roman” style settings with gold jump ring separators between each, tongue snap fastener, approx. 42cm long. Intaglios ranging in size, smallest being 7mm x 6mm and largest (centre stone) 15mm x 12mm. Containing from left to right the following intaglios (see image);

  • Amethyst – Bird on branch and star (Henig, Britain 671)
  • Cornelian – Lion
  • Green Chrome Chalcedony - Palm with two cornucopiae
  • Banded Agate – Cow (second half of 1st century BCE, Augustan )
  • Cornelian – Cow
  • Amethyst – Cow
  • Cornelian – Pair of Cows within border
  • Cornelian – Cow beneath a tree (Cf. Maaskant-Kleibrink, Hague, no.559)
  • Banded Agate – A palm, a horn of plenty and a globe (representing world rule) (second half of 1st century BCE, Augustan ) (cf Henig and MacGregor, Ashmolean 11.27)
  • Cornelian – Dolphin and a palm of victory
  • Banded Agate – Dioscuri, the two heavenly twins of Greek mythology with their horses (Maaskant-Kleibrink, Hague, no.824)
  • Cornelian – Charioteer with large 2 horse chariot (biga), initialled AV (presumably part of the name of the owner) (Henig, Britain nos 516-518)
  • Sardonyx truncated cone - Bird perched on globe; the bird is pecking from a cornucopia
  • Cornelian – Sphinx (the emblem adopted by Augustus for his first seal) (cf Sena Chiesa, Aquileia 1224); (Henig, Britain no.654; Maaskant-Kleibrink, Hague, no.531)
  • Amethyst – A satyr, part of the entourage of Dionysus (thiasos)
  • Sardonyx, truncated cone – Cupid
  • Cornelian – Two horses, one with rider
  • Banded Agate – A Boar (second half of 1st century BCE, Augustan ) (cf Sena Chiesa, Aquileia 1092)
  • Cornelian – Lion
  • Sard – Pegasus [I think this might alternatively be a lion griffin. . The head was not totally clear to me as being equine]
  • Cornelian – Hand holding corn and poppy head cf (Sena Chiesa, Aquileia nos 1454-1456)
  • Nicolo (blue onyx) – Dolphin (cf Sena Chiesa, Aquileia 1404)
  • Cornelian – Goat nibbling on ear of corn
  • Cornelian – Cow beneath a tree
  • Cornelian – A hound chasing a hare (cf Henig and MacGregor, Ashmolean 9.50)
  • Green Chrome Chalcedony – Goat with a corn ear (symbol of prosperity)
  • Cornelian – 4 corn ears (symbol of prosperity) (cf Sena Chiesa, Aquileia 1410)

Please note the 27 intaglios above have been authenticated as 1st century Roman, they are consistent as having been found and probably acquired from Italy prior to having been set in the necklace.and were clearly selected to portray animals and plants. Identifications by Dr. Martin Henig of the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford.

Sena Chiesa, Aquileia. G. Sena Chiesa, Gemme del Museo Nazionale di Aquileia(Aquileia 1966)

Henig,Britain M. Henig, A Corpus of Roman Engraved Gemstones from British Sites (BAR 8., Oxford1974, 1978 and 2007 editions)

Henig and MacGregor,Ashmolean M.Henig and A.MacGregor, Catalogue of the Engraved Gems and Finger-rings in the Ashmolean Museum.II.Roman (Beazley Archive and Archaeopress,Oxford 2004)

Sold for £28,000


Auction: Fine Art Sale, 13th Sep, 2017


10th September 2017 2pm-4pm
11th September 2017 10am-5pm
12th September 2017 10am-4pm
13th September 2017 9am-11am
14th September 2017 9am-11am

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