King George III

2006am7195 jpg l

View the V&A API .json response

Acquired in 1860 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Varley, John Benjamin
attributions_note
bibliography
Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1860. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 40 Machell Cox, E., Victoria & Albert Museum Catalogue of Engraved Gems. London, Typescript, 1935, Part 2, Section 2, p.227. Forrer, L, Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, Coin, Gem-, and Seal-Engravers, Mint-Masters, etc. Ancient and Modern, with References to Their Works, BC. 500-A.D. 1900. London, Spink & Son, 1902-30, Vol. VIII, p. 247 Dalton, O.M., Catalogue of the Engraved Gems of the Post-Classical Periods in the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities and Ethnography in the British Museum. London, British Museum, 1915, p. lix.
collection_code
SCP
credit
Given by Colonel Guthrie
date_end
1800-12-31
date_start
1800-01-01
date_text
About 1800 (made)
descriptive_line
Intaglio sealstone depicting King George III, oval carnelian in gold mount; by John Benjamin Varley, Britain, about 1800
dimensions
Height: 28 mm, Width: 23 mm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
Sculpture, room 111
historical_context_note
Until recently it has been thought that the signature on this gem must refer to John Varley (1778-1842) the painter of landscapes in watercolour, although he is not known to have engraved any gems. However, recent searches have brought to light records of a John Benjamin Varley, 'engraver and jeweller', who traded in London in the Strand and Fleet Street between 1792 and 1830, and this is a far more likely origin for the piece. The subject of the gem has historically been identified as Louis XVI of France. It is almost certain, however, given its British manufacture and source, that it represents George III, the likeness similar to that on medals and coinage, and also to the younger portrait of the king in a bust dated 1767 by John Nost the Younger (V&A, A.3-1957).
historical_significance
history_note
id
44256
label
last_checked
2014-08-29T22:19:05.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T22:19:05.000Z
latitude
54.313919
location
Sculpture, room 111, case 2, shelf 3
longitude
-2.23218
marks
Signed 'I.B. Varley Ft'.
materials
carnelian, gold, chalcedony, gemstone, microquartz
materials_techniques
Engraved gemstone
museum_number
7127-1860
museum_number_token
71271860
object_number
O87406
object_type
Sealstone
on_display
1
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Vertical oval intaglio. Reddish-brown translucent carnelian. Head of George III in profile to the left. He is bare-headed and wears a short wig tied behind. Set in gold pendant mount.
place
Britain
primary_image_id
2006AM7195
production_note
production_type
public_access_description
The art of engraving gemstones can be traced back to ancient Greece in the 8th century BC and earlier. Techniques passed down to the Egyptians and then to the Romans. There were major revivals of interest in engraved gems in Europe during the Byantine era, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and again in the 18th and 19th centuries. At each stage cameos and intaglios, these skillful carvings on a minute scale, were much prized and collected, sometimes as symbols of power mounted in jewelled settings, sometimes as small objects for private devotion or enjoyment. An intaglio carving is cut into the surface of the material and a cameo is in relief. This intaglio, with its inscription cut in reverse, was clearly intended for use as a sealstone. Until recently it has been assumed that the signature on this gem must refer to John Varley (1778-1842) the painter of landscapes in watercolour, although he is not known to have engraved any gems. However, recent searches have brought to light records of a John Benjamin Varley, 'engraver and jeweller', who traded in London in the Strand and Fleet Street between 1792 and 1830, and this is a far more likely origin for the piece. The subject of the gem has historically been identified as Louis XVI of France. It is almost certain, however, given its British manufacture and source, that is represents the British king George III, the likeness being similar to that on medals and coinage, and also to the younger portrait of the king in a bust dated 1767 by John Nost the Younger (V&A, A.3-1957).
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
VA
slug
king-george-iii-sealstone-varley-john-benjamin
sys_updated
2014-08-21T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
gem engraving
title
King George III
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
1800
year_start
1800