ITALIAN, EARLY 19TH CENTURY | INTAGLIO WITH HERCULES RESCUING HESIONE FROM THE MONSTER
ITALIAN, EARLY 19TH CENTURY
INTAGLIO WITH HERCULES RESCUING HESIONE FROM THE MONSTER
signed in Greek: ΑΠΟΛΛΟΝΙΔΟΥ (Apollonides)
carnelian, within a brooch mount
intaglio: 26.3 by 32.7mm., 1.02 by 1.28in.
29.4 by 35.5mm., 29.4 by 1.39in. overall
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Overall the condition of the intaglio is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There are a few minor abrasions and there is general minor wear to the mount consistent with age.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Prince Stanislas Poniatowski (1754-1833);
his sale, Christie's, London, 1839, lot 489;
Catalogue des pierres graves antiques de S.A. le Prince Stanislas Poniatowski, 1830-1833, no. II.269;
J. Prendeville, Explanatory catalogue of the proof-impressions of the antique gems possessed by the late Prince Poniatowski and now in the possession of John Tyrrell, Esq., 1841, no. 386; Beazley Archive, University of Oxford, Poniatowski Database, no. T386 [accessed 20 June 2020; https://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/XDB/ASP/recordDetails.asp?recordCount=7&start=0]
This fine intaglio is one of the so-called Poniatowski gems. This group of around 2,500 gems were commissioned in the first decades of the 19th-century by the Polish aristocrat Prince Stanislas Poniatowski (1754-1833) from a number of skilled gem engravers active in Rome, who drew on literary sources including Homer, Virgil and Ovid, to create beautiful and original compositions. They are often frieze like in design and in this respect recall the line drawings of Neoclassical artist John Flaxman. Poniatowski catalogued them in his lifetime and encouraged the belief that they were in fact ancient gems. The collection was sold after his death, at Christie's in 1839, but the sale was unsuccessful, with many collectors outraged at what they saw as an assemblage of gems designed to deceive. Many of the Poniatowski gems were acquired by an English collector named John Tyrrell, who bought them as an investment and subsequently published them himself. There is no complete set of impressions, although the Beazley archive at Oxford University have created a growing Poniatowski database. In recent years Poniatowski gems have increasingly been seen as important examples of Neoclassical art in their own right, engraved by leading gem cutters including the likes of Luigi Pichler.