A Cornelian intaglio ring from the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski
A Cornelian intaglio ring from the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski

Details
A Cornelian intaglio ring from the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski
The oval cornelian engraved with the head of Cecrops and either his wife Aglauros or Athena facing opposite in profile with Athenian owl above and Greek signature below for Aglaos, Aglaos Athen, (the Athenian) epoie (made it), within gold reeded swivel mount, circa 1800, finger size M½
Literature
Cf. The Classical Art Research Centre, and the Beazley Archive, Oxford, ref. 1839-708
Post lot text
With grateful thanks to Dr Claudia Wagner F.S.A. for the identification of the gem

Prince Stanislas Poniatowski (1754-1833) commissioned about 2500 gems and encouraged the belief that they were in fact ancient. Most of the engravers involved turned to classical subjects in literature for inspiration and not the ancient classical representations that had inspired Neo-Classical art.
Poniatowski published a summary catalogue of his gems, Catalogue des Pierres Gravees Antiques de S.A. le Prince Poniatowski,in 1830. His collection was sold at Christie's auction in 1839 and the gems were later recognised as 'modern' and were unjustly spurned and sold cheaply. The majority were acquired by John Tyrell, but some were purchased by others, all have been widely dispersed since. The Beazley Archive in Oxford holds over six hundred plaster impressions of those gems purchased by Tyrell.

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