The Marlborough Gems: Being a Collection of Works in Cameo and Intaglio Formed by George, Third Duke of Marlborough

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private distribution, 1870 - Gems - 118 pages
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1870 / 118p / Room 4

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Page 73 - ... (King, Handbook, &c., p. 254). In the Marlborough Sale Catalogue, 1889, p. 79, lot 447, this gem is described as representing the daughter of Titus, and the cataloguer adds : " The inscription is beyond all suspicion genuine, and might be of Ptolemaic date.
Page iii - THE collection of cameos and intaglios of which this little volume is a Catalogue, has for nearly a century deservedly possessed a wide reputation. The two splendid volumes printed and distributed by the third Duke of Marlborough in 1780 and 1791, wherein a hundred of the most remarkable pieces in his collection were described and figured, would alone have sufficed to establish this fame for the
Page 44 - Other gems with the subject, some of them certainly antique, but similarly treated, exist in different collections ; one is in the Payne Knight collection in the British Museum, and another in that at Berlin. The...
Page 94 - Le signet du Roy qui est de la teste d'un roy sans barbe ; et est d'un fin rubis d'Orient : c'est celui de quoi le roy scelle les lettres qu'il escript de sa main.
Page iii - ... Gems," has for nearly a century deservedly possessed a wide reputation. To the archaeologist, the cabinet at Blenheim has always possessed a singular interest, from its including the collection of gems which had been formed by the famous Earl of Arundel, who, during the troubled time of Charles I., found a solace for the abridgment of his dignities in collecting works of art and monuments of antiquity.
Page 36 - A Bacchanal subject. A cameo, antique in character, wrought in a beautiful porcelain white upper stratum of a sardonyx, with a yellow base layer. The moulding of the limbs and form of the Maenad in the foreground, is extraordinarily delicate, and the attitudes of the remaining figures, viz. a Satyr teasing a panther, and a second Maenad, who is at hand to beat the tambourine, are artistically drawn. A reserved rim surrounds the design, which is set in an enamelled border of tulips and other flowers.
Page 44 - Head of the Dog Sirius, radiated and open-mouthed, in front face. A very renowned intaglio, most profoundly cut, and marvellously finished in a material worthy of it, the kind of carbuncle known as the " Syriam " or " Siriam " garnet, as being obtained of the finest quality from the neighbourhood of the ancient capital of Pegu.
Page xxxii - Dynasty in the Parthian Empire we find mingled with many luminous and lovely sards, and with transcendent garnets, nicolos presenting the finest contrasts in their colours ; all these stones carrying the singular and rudely worked subjects which seem to have represented an art inherited from the days of Mesopotamian cylinders and Persian conical stamps, but modified in its technique by the introduction of methods, especially the use of a coarse wheel, from the West. This stone may have been the jEgyptilla...
Page xxx - In many cases, again, it was neither as a signet nor as an ornament so much as in the character of a talisman that a gem was worn : and for this it was only necessary that a certain subject should be engraved on a particular stone. The silent language of Art had little power to persuade or elevate where superstitions like these of the Orphic school of mystics, had dominated the reason and sealed the senses. And to this cause, as much as to any other, is due the decline of the gem-engraver's art,...
Page 35 - There can be little doubt that this glorious gem dates from the later period of Greek art. An Arundel gem (Cat. Thee. A, 76). Figured in the " Marlborough Gems," Vol. ii. No. 45, and in the ninth etching of Worlidge's volumes. 216. — A dancing Satyr, cut in rude intaglio on a brownish red jasper. The work and the material belong to the art of the late Roman period, and for that time the execution of the gem is good ; for though rude and sketchy, it is full of spirit.

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