Antique jewelry: What jewelry was worn by the emperors of Ancient Rome

Masterpieces: History and subtle beauty of ancient cameos and miniature paintings in campanioni cameos, these miniature human creations, combining exquisite grace and beauty. And although their age is calculated not by one ten centuries, looking at them, each viewer has the feeling that these images are here-here will come to life!After all, in ancient times, in Ancient Rome, in Ancient Greece and Hellenistic States, this art reached the pinnacle of perfection.Not for nothing about them said: «Gems are small, but they win century» (p. Rank). The art of miniature carving on precious and semi-precious stones, glyptic, known since ancient times. At the same time, carved miniatures, called gems, can be of two types – convex images (the cameos) or carved (intaglios).

Intaglios as seals

Ring of antalyaantalya – more ancient technology, and their prosperity they have experienced for a very long time. Carved intaglios on plain stones usually always with a practical purpose – for use as seals. On a soft clay or wax-stamped prints opasatika thus space, sealing letters and documents. And stamped some things, thus marking their affiliation to the owner of the intaglio.Ancient gold ring with intaglio and printThe impression with intuiitive miniature intaglio is difficult, Carver has a good understanding of how it will look inverted print. As a material for the intaglio is most often used varieties of quartz: carnelian and purple chalcedony, and rock crystal.Ring with intaglioIntaliya. Bust of Ptolemy III, Egypt, Alexandria. III century BC sardonyx, gold (rim — late).Artemis with torches. Intaliya. Amethyst. 2nd half of the first century BC, Master Apollonius. Naples, national archaeological MuseumIntaglio with a representation of the Emperor Caracalla in amethyst. Ancient Rome around 212 BC

Cameos — luxury in Ancient Greece

In antiquity, at the end of IV century BC, the craftsmen of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, continuing to work with the intaglios, are beginning to work with other material – multicolor and multi-layered sardonyx or agate, which cut out a convex embossed gems — cameos. With skillful approach, the carvers were able to achieve interesting color and lighting effects. Working on double or triple portraits, they tried each of them to withstand in its color. And if you managed to successfully get to the color that it was not easy, cameos seemed to become alive. In that time, intaglios were used for practical purposes, cameos have become a luxury item. They were inserted for beauty rings and tiaras, decorate their your clothes… But not everyone could afford to buy them.

Gems Of Alexandria

The first who began to work with Cargill on the basis of polychrome sardonyx, was Greek craftsmen-stone carvers, who served at the court of the Ptolemies in Alexandria. As part of the glyptic it was a great masters, even the earliest of their work with the cameos was done brilliantly. Amazing beauty GemmaCleopatra VII. Sardonyx. The end of I century BC 2.8 x 2.2 cm a number of their works have become famous masterpieces. These include unique «Cameo Gonzaga», «Farnese Cup», «Cup of Ptolemy,» and others.Their most brilliant work, a recognized masterpiece of all time, was the «Gonzaga cameo» in the Hermitage collection.Ptolemy and Arsinoe II (the Gonzaga cameo). Three-layered sardonyx. III century BC 15.7 x 11.8 cm x 3 cm Ancient Egypt, Alexandriavirginia cameo, one of the largest. On it are carved two profiles – male and female. Rather, it is Ptolemy II and his wife Arsinoe, who is also his sister. This cameo has not escaped the fate of many historical relics: seven times it passed from one owner to another, until he found himself in St. Petersburg. It in 1814 gave to the Russian Emperor Alexander I, Josephine after France’s defeat in the war with Russia. Hellenistic agate Cup, later received the name «Farnese Cup».Cup Of The Ptolemies. Two-handed bowl from onyx or chalcedony carved cameo type. Preserved in the National Library (Cabinet des médailles), Paris. Height 8.4 cm, diameter 12.5 cmThe Cup of the Ptolemies (back)

The glyptic in Ancient Rome

After the fall of the Kingdom of the Ptolemies (30th BC) ended the era of Hellenism, and Greek craftsmen began to work for the good of the Roman Empire, which successfully absorbed the culture of Ancient Greece, including the glyptic. But reproducing its best examples of Roman steel cutters in the set to create a multi-figure portraits and cameos with mythical and allegorical characters. Gradually in the history of the glyptic has entered a new period, which took shape in the new style. Now the main story line was the triumph of the Emperor, and in the technique of preference began to give a more rigorous and graphic, two-color compositions — white silhouettes on a dark background. «Cameo Aug»One of the famous cameos: a»cameo Aug»this two-color cameo depicts Augustus surrounded by real historical figures and Roman gods.«Gemma Tiberius»Cameo Of Tiberius. 37 g. the national library of France, the Cabinet of medals Parijata cameo is the great cameo in the world. Napoleon I called it the «great cameo of France». Made a cameo during the reign of Emperor Tiberius in his honor on the basis of a five-layer sardonyx. On it in three rows located more than 20 figures. The Emperor Tiberius by his wife Livia are depicted surrounded by their relatives and gods, carved with a jeweler’s precision, and at their feet is the defeated Germans and Dacians with their women and children.It is clear that the miniature stone carving is not a simple matter, requiring great skill and patience. In addition, the master should be able to see the beauty of the stone, to predict how within it there are layers. The process thread is very long. To create a cameo can take even months or years of hard work. Experts compare the process of making one large cameo with the construction of a Cathedral. Apparently, you have to really love their job to do it.But despite all these difficulties, from under the incisors of the ancient masters left many excellent examples, real works of art. And all subsequent years they remain the ideal of beauty and perfection sought by many masters of engraving. IntagliosThe intaglio of Julia, daughter of Titus 9 century intaglio depicting Julia, daughter of Titus. 9th century. Author Euodos. Preserved in the National library (Cabinet des médailles), Paris.Intaliya «The Punishment Of Titus.» Rhinestone. 16th century, by Giovanni Bernardi (British Museum) CameosThe cross of Lothair (con. 10 V., Germany). Sardonyx, gold filigree and precious stones. height: 50 cm, width: 38.5 cm, thickness: 2.3 cm Kept in the Treasury of Aachen Cathedral In the center of the cross is a pretty big cameo, which depicts the Emperor Augustus. This cross was donated by the oldest and famous Aachen Cathedral, the German Emperor Otto III. Cameo with the cross with the image of Augustus in a Laurel wreath, on the reverse side of the cross of the crucified Christ takes the same Laurel crown from the hands of God the FatherCameo Blacas, 12 cm in height. Augustus. Maybe from 20-50 ad Blacas cameo is an unusually large ancient Roman cameo. On the basis of a four-layer sardonyx carved with the profile of Augustus, perhaps from 20-50 gg BC Cameo «Alexander The Great»Cameo of Emperor Constantine, sardonyx, IV century ad, Constantine and Tikhe. Sardonyx. Roman work. IV V. Saint-Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum.«Gemma Claudia» Five onyx frame: gold. OK. 49 BC 15,2 × 12 see Vienna, Museum of history iskusstvami collections of cameos have museums of Vienna, Paris and St. Petersburg. Thanks largely to the efforts of Catherine II, who adored cameos and collects them, a collection of antique cameos of the Hermitage — one of the largest in the world. Today the beautiful interiors of the state halls impress the most refined connoisseurs.

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