Wolf

2006af1516 jpg l

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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. 45. Machell Cox, E., Victoria & Albert Museum Catalogue of Engraved Gems. London, Typescript, 1935, Part 2, Section 2, p. 297.
collection_code
SCP
credit
date_end
0200-12-31
date_start
date_text
200-50 BC (made)
descriptive_line
Intaglio possibly depicting a wolf, oval layered agate, variety 'nicolo', in silver-gilt ring; Italy 200-50 BC
dimensions
Width: 11 mm approximate, Height: 10 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 118. 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.
id
82269
label
last_checked
2014-08-30T00:55:21.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-30T00:55:21.000Z
latitude
42.502998
location
In Storage
longitude
12.57341
marks
materials
silver-gilt, chalcedony, gemstone, microquartz, layered agate, nicolo
materials_techniques
Engraved gemstone
museum_number
572-1871
museum_number_token
5721871
object_number
O106578
object_type
Intaglio
on_display
original_currency
English pounds, shillings and pence
original_price
£2
physical_description
Horizontal oval intaglio. Pale bluish over dark red-black nicolo. Depicting what may be a wolf, its head lowered, standing in profile facing right. Set in silver-gilt ring.
place
Italy
primary_image_id
2006AF1516
production_note
Graeco-Roman intaglio in a 19th century setting Attribution note: Pale bluish over dark red-black layers of translucent chalcedony.
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. Engraved gems with this appearance are described as 'nicolo'. A two-layered agate is used, the bottom layer black or very dark, the top white. The top layer is ground away until only a thin film of the white remains, which then appears greyish-blue due to the dark layer showing through it. The gem is then engraved through the whiteish layer into the dark below. They were frequently imitated in glass. This rather crudely-engraved gem, dating to some time during the two centuries before the birth of Christ, may represent a popular image, the Roman wolf. According to legend, a she-wolf suckled the twins Romulus and Remus, descendants of Aeneas and founders of Rome, when they were cast out as infants.
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
slug
wolf-intaglio-unknown
sys_updated
2013-08-17T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
gem engraving
title
Wolf
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
200
year_start
-50