Black jasper intaglio portrait of a Roman lady


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166

The art of gem cutting was highly prized in Rome. Julius Caesar is said to have been a passionate collector of gems, and Augustus’s signet ring was made by Dioskourides, the finest engraver of his time. Gems were often used to recall family traditions or political allegiances, but they also had a practical purpose, for when they were engraved in negative as intaglios, they could be used as seal stones in signet rings.

Black jasper intaglio portrait of a Roman lady, Jasper, black, Roman

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