Head of a Roman emperor

2006af1550 jpg l

View the V&A API .json response

Acquired in 1871 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington, Acquired During the Year 1871, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O. p. 38. Machell Cox, E., Victoria & Albert Museum Catalogue of Engraved Gems. London, Typescript, 1935, Part 1, p.57. Edmund Waterton, Dactyliotheca Watertoniana: a descriptive catalogue of the finger-rings in the collection of Mrs. Waterton, (manuscript), written at Walton Castle, 1866, possibly that at top of p. 68.
collection_code
SCP
credit
date_end
0100-12-31
date_start
0001-01-01
date_text
1st century CE (made)
descriptive_line
Intaglio depicting head of Roman emperor, possibly Tiberius or Drusus, oval sard, set in a gold ring; Italy, 1-100 CE
dimensions
Height: 7 mm approximate, Width: 6 mm approximate
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
historical_context_note
Engraved gemstones of all dates were widely collected in Italy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many were brought back by British Grand Tourists, and important collections were formed.
historical_significance
history_note
Ex Waterton Collection. Bought by the Museum following inclusion in Christie's sale (undated, not held), lot 46. Edmund Waterton (1830-81) is referred to as one of a group of 'pioneer collectors' by Diana Scarisbrick, 'C.D.E. Fortunum as a collector of rings and gems', C.D.E. Fortnum and the collecting and study of applied arts and sculpture in Victorian England, Ed: Ben Thomas and Timothy Wilson, 1999. His collection of approximately 760 rings, formed with the aim of illustrating the history of rings of all period and types, was acquired by the Museum in 1871 and 1899. Waterton, in 1868 'of Walton Castle, near Wakefield, in the county of York, but now residing at Ostend in the Kingdom of Belgium', got into financial difficulties, and was later to be declared bankrupt. The collection of rings was held as security against a loan by the jeweller Robert Phillips for two years from March of that year. The loan was to be repaid by Waterton by March 1870, but the deadline was not met. Phillips having first contacted the Museum regarding the possible purchase of the rings in 1869, the purchase was recommended by the Board of the Museum in a minute of 20 April 1871. The majority of the rings are held in Metalwork Section, a small number in Sculpture Section. Historical significance: Waterton, in his manuscript catalogue of his collection Dactyliotheca, suggests and cites others such as King who have suggested, that such a small ring may have been too small even for a child, but could have decorated the statuette of a household god.
id
82258
label
last_checked
2014-08-30T00:55:18.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-30T00:55:18.000Z
latitude
42.502998
location
In Storage
longitude
12.57341
marks
materials
gemstone, microquartz, sard
materials_techniques
Engraved gemstone
museum_number
462-1871
museum_number_token
4621871
object_number
O106567
object_type
Intaglio
on_display
original_currency
English pounds, shillings and pence
original_price
£5
physical_description
Small vertical oval intaglio. Reddish brown sard. Depicting the head of a Roman emperior in profile facing right. Set in a small gold ring.
place
Italy
primary_image_id
2006AF1550
production_note
Ring ca. 1750-1800 Attribution note: Reddish brown chalcedony. Formerly incorrectly identified as garnet. Checked using magnification and polariscope. J Whalley 20/5/09
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. This tiny intaglio depicts the head of a Roman emperor, possibly Tiberius or Drusus. It dates from the early years of the first century of the Christian era.
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
slug
head-of-a-roman-emperor-intaglio-unknown
sys_updated
2013-08-17T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
gem engraving
title
Head of a Roman emperor
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
100
year_start
1