Monday, February 12, 2018

18th century English Georgian carved Carnelian of Antinous Watch Fob seal.

18th century English Georgian carved Carnelian of Antinous Watch Fob seal. 

In the collection of Le Château de Hopkins, A 18th century English Georgian Carnelian Watch Fob seal pendant with a Intaglio profile bust of Antinous (c. AD 110/11-30), a favourite, or lover, of the Roman emperor Hadrian. He was deified after his death, being worshiped in both the Greek East and Latin West, sometimes as a god (theos) and sometimes merely as a hero (heros). This representation of Antinous is closely related to the famous "Antinous Marlborough Gem" The Marlborough Sardonix is a black stone jewel intaglio with the image of Antinous that was signed by Antoninianus of Aphrodisia, the only artist known to have signed his name on his work. 
The Marlborough Sardonix is a black stone jewel intaglio with the image of Antinous. It is generally regarded as one of the finest portrait gems from antiquity. The British house of Marlborough still owns the original. It is thought to have been worn as a ring by Emperor Hadrian himself. 





The Marlborough Sardonix is generally regarded as one of the finest portrait gems from antiquity. The British house of Marlborough still owns the original. It is thought to have been worn as a ring by Emperor Hadrian himself. That relief immediately became immensely popular in Georgian, England; Nathaniel Marchant RA (1739–1816) was an English gem engraver and Edward Burch one of the most celebrated gem engravers of the late eighteenth century England made high quality copies of "The Antinous Marlborough Gem" Intaglio gems are hard semi-precious stones which have been cut with intaglio figures and designs so that they can be set, usually in finger rings, and used as seals if you press them into sealing wax or clay. They are, moreover, often set in expensive and exquisite jewelry mounts or rings.




With the growth of a wealthier middle class during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the rise of manufacturing, the demand for masculine accessories grew as well. Men’s fashion in the eighteenth century tended to lean toward the flamboyant side, with men showing off nearly as much jewelry as their female counterparts. Men’s accessories also followed a strict protocol which was dictated by the aristocracy; one had to make sure to be dressed both correctly as well as completely.


 Jeweled rings, watch chains, diamond shoe buckles, and in some cases even diamond buttons were part of the aristocratic male’s fashion repertoire. Even as men’s accessories became less pronounced as the eighteenth century progressed into the nineteenth, masculine dress still retained certain features of personal adornment: jeweled cravat pins, watch fobs and seals, gem and paste rings. As is the same with female accessories. 




An important accessory to the seventeenth and eighteenth century man, a watch fob and seal was an object directly attached to the chain of one’s pocket watch. A watch chain was used to suspend one’s watch from the waistcoat’s “fob pocket,” from which also hung the watch fob, usually with an attached seal at the bottom end of the fob. Fobs were often cone-like in form, attached to the watch chain with a metal loop at the narrow end of the fob. The seal was on the wide, circular end of the fob.





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