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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Classical Revival Seal Rings : Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Carnelian Intaglio Depicting Emperor Valentinian I
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Gold Ring Featuring a Classical Revival Carnelian Intaglio Depicting Emperor Valentinian I - FJ.6500
Origin: Europe
Circa: 1700 AD to 1800 AD

Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Carnelian and Gold

Location: United States
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This genuine antique Classical Revival Carnelian intaglio has been mounted in a modern 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 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.

Adopting a military career to further his fortunes, Valentinian I proved himself a valuable and intelligent soldier, ultimately rising to a high rank under the emperors Julian and Jovian. When the latter died Valentinian was proclaimed emperor, and soon afterwards selected his brother Valens to rule with him as co-emperor of the eastern empire. Stationed in the west, Valentinian spent his entire reign attempting to stop the relentless incursions of invading northern tribes such as the Picts and Saxons. In addition to his military and administrative abilities, he was also a gifted painter and sculptor. This superb intaglio demonstrates the skills of the eighteenth century engravers, with the emperor's dramatic profile, flowing hair and stippled toga done in a highly expressive style.
- (FJ.6500)


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