Property of a Lady
RETAILED BY HUNT & ROSKELL
HARDSTONE INTAGLIO DEMI-PARURE
Comprising: a necklace of festoon design, the snake link chain suspending a series of carnelian, chalcedony, phrenite, smokey quartz, lapis lazuli and bloodstone intaglio pendants depicting Apollo and a various Greco-Roman goddesses and female figures, length approximately 372mm; and a pair of pendent earrings of similar design, hook fittings, fitted case stamped Hunt & Roskell; 1870s.
To view Shipping Calculator, please click here
Necklace and earrings unsigned. Central intaglio measuring approximately 35 x 27mm, depicting Apollo with his lyre. fitted case stamped Hunt & Roskell. . The remaining intaglios measure approximately 16 x 12mm. From left to right they are: smokey quartz (woman with staff), lapis, (same as previous), carnelian (woman with leaves, possibly Demeter/Ceres), phrenite (woman with feathered aigrette and lyre), central carnelian intaglio (Apollo with lyre), phrenite (lady with tiara and cloth headdress), carnelian (Demeter/Ceres), yellow chalcedony (laureated woman with lyre), white chalcedony (woman with quiver of arrows, possibly Diana/Artemis), bloodstone (clasp, woman with helmet - possibly Minerva/Athena). Earrings - left - chalcedony (woman with helmet headdress and trumpets, possibly Minerva/Athena), right - chalcedony (woman with spiked tiara and cloth headdress, possibly Hera). Overall in good condition, some discoloration to metal consistent with age. Each earring approximately 42mm in length. Combined gross weight approximately 70.4 grams. On necklace, three intaglios are missing the end of the supporting pin, however they are on the necklace securely. Fitted case stamped Hunt & Roskell.
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report 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 online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee, and are not responsible for, any certificate from a gemological laboratory that may accompany the lot. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the relevant section the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. 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.
Fringed with multicoloured pendants depicting Greco-Roman deities, this extraordinary demi-parure beautifully illustrates the vogue for cameos and intaglios that swept Europe in the 19th century.
‘Glyptics’ is the catch-all term for these engraved gemstones, which fall into two main types: cameos and intaglios. In cameos, the design stands out in three-dimensional relief against a receding background. In these intaglios, the opposite is the case – the design is carved directly into the stone. Traditionally depicting an array of deities and figures of power, as well as numerous other subjects, glyptics have their origins in Ancient Greece and Rome, where they were powerful symbols of wealth and authority, treasured for their beauty and workmanship, and occasionally imbued with talismanic properties.
In the opening years of the 19th century, this historic art form found a series of new champions, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte and his first wife, Empress Joséphine. The classical aesthetic they ushered in upon their rise to power helped to reinforce Napoloeon’s claims to dynastic legitimacy by borrowing from ancient Roman images of imperial grandeur, and created a fashion for glyptics which lasted decades, bringing them to a wider audience than ever before.
This matching set of necklace and earrings depicts the god Apollo at its centre, among a host of female figures and goddesses in profile, each in a simple collet setting and linked by sleek snake-link chain. It was retailed by Hunt & Roskell, one of the most prominent English jewellers of the 19th century.
Hunt & Roskell was founded in 1819 by Paul Storr, who had worked as a silversmith for the renowned former Crown Jewellers Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. Initially trading as Storr & Mortimer, the firm underwent many changes of name throughout its lifespan as various partners left and joined the firm, eventually becoming Hunt & Roskell between 1843 and 1897.
From their premises at 156 New Bond Street and their workshop in Clerkenwell, Hunt & Roskell provided jewellery, watches and silverware to an elite clientele, participating in the Great Exhibition of 1851, as well as exhibitions in New York (1853) and Paris (1867), eventually gaining a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria, who was herself an enthusiastic collector of glyptics.
With its bold colour scheme and sophisticated design, this necklace and earring set, in its original box, is both a rare survival of its era, and also a highly wearable and strikingly contemporary addition to anyone’s antique jewellery collection.