Webster's Dictionary defines a "masterpiece" as "a work done with extraordinary skill or artistic achievement." I have been fortunate enough lately to acquire several jewels which meet this criteria, and I am proud to present the "Masterpiece collection" for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Dating to c.100 BCE- 100 AD for the Roman intaglio and c.1800 AD for the solid 22k gold pendant mounting, this gorgeous jewel represents over 2000 years of jewelry history! This museum-quality pendant comes straight from my personal collection of ancient jewelry, but as I rarely wear it and am planning a buying trip, I have decided to "de-access" it for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele! The colossal size, origin, rarity and splendid Georgian gold setting of this jewel all qualify it for Masterpiece status!
Measuring 1 3/4" long with the pendant bail x 1 1/4" wide, this intaglio represents Minerva, the Roman Goddess of War. Carved from carnelian, Minerva faces right and wears her mask-topped battle helmet, and a serpent winds around her neck like a jewel; the serpent was one of Minerva's attributes, but is rarely depicted in later Roman images. (See the last photo for a Classical Greek vase with Athena/Minerva and her snakes.) This intaglio measures 30 mm x 22 mm on it's own, and is by far the largest ancient Roman gem I have discovered in my 25+ years as a collector, dealer, and scholar of ancient jewelry!
As one can see from the photos, this intaglio boasts a magnificent burial patina, and is 100% intact. When held to the light, one can see the natural inclusions in the stone, with tiny spots of embedded encrustation (looking like pinholes). The back of the cameo displays the working of the stone; there are the slight variations of surface one expects to find in a Classical Roman gem, and the surface is a joy to touch! SIMPLY OUTSTANDING!
Whomever acquired this gem c.1800 considered it an important work of ancient art, and had it custom-mounted into the substantial 22k gold pendant frame you see here (gold unmarked but tested). The intaglio is literally cased in gold, with a scalloped gold inner frame, and an outer frame with floret motif. This setting is in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for after two centuries, with no damage, replacements or repairs to the intaglio or the frame! This is the sort of jewel that is guaranteed to increase in value and rarity over time, and represents a wonderful investment opportunity for the serious collector. The jewel weighs in at 12.09 grams,
This Classical-meets-Neoclassical jewel is second to none, and is suitable for wear by either a lady or a gentleman! It looks fantastic worn on a gold chain, and WHAT a history! If you collect the ULTIMATE in ancient or Georgian jewelry, this pendant belongs around your neck and in your collection! It would also make a thrilling holiday gift for anyone fascinated with ancient Roman art, and will be shipped in a gift box. As with all of my jewelry pre-dating 1700, this pendant will be sold with a COA and valuation for your insurance purposes at no extra charge. Do not miss this Masterpiece; up to 120-day layaway is available, and USPS shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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