Archive | December, 2010

Theseus Gem

The black agate intaglio of a youth set in rose gold ring.gem measures 23 x 15 mm. Dear Reader,Yet another gem has entered my life, found with an antique jewelry dealer in NYC. It is an image of a heroic youth wearing what I first took to be a lion skin as a helmet as Alexander had in his coins, carved into black agate, and set in a Victorian rose gold ring engraved on the back with initials and the date, “July 23rd, 1880”. View of the back showing the inscription. It was assumed by the dealer, and myself, that the gem has to be 18th, 19th Century, given the ring, the hard polish of the surface, and the extended oval with a lot of negative space around the carving, more than is typical in ancient gems. However what grabbed my attention as the quality of the carving and image; it is very direct and unfussy in execution and yet fierce. The large open eyes, bulging Scopaic brow reminiscent of Alexander the Great’s images, the […]

Continue Reading