Offered by: Louis Wine Ltd
150 Cumberland St Toronto, ON M5R 1A8 , Canada Call Seller 416.929.9333


Prince Stanislas Poniatowski Intaglio gold pendant C.1815

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  • Description
    Sardonyx intaglio pendant in gold from the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski (1754-1833). Outstanding carved scene of Polyphemus hurling a rock at the ship of Ulysses. Details are very clear. Signed in Greek letters at the bottom, ΑΠΟΛΛΟΝΙΔΟΥ (Apollonides). Sardonyx : 1.50 x 1.30 inches. 18K (gold tested) mount, excluding bale: 2.20 x 2.00 inches.
    Previous Collections:
    Catalogue des pierres graves antiques de S.A. le Prince Stanislas Poniatowski ([1830-1833): VI.32
    Christie's, London: 1839-684
    Prendeville, J.: 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): 1016
    Monson, (Lord)
    Christie's, London: June 9, 1851, lot 104
    Strutt Hallum, (Edward)
    Christie's, London: 14/15.07.1865, 157
    Material: Sardonyx

    Prince Poniatowski (1754-1833), the nephew of the last king of Poland, amassed one of the greatest collections of all time. His gem collection gained great notoriety, especially the intaglios of ancient Greek and Roman mythological subjects, literary and historical figures. At his death, approximately 2500 intaglios were discovered to be in his possession and later, a huge controversy arose as to whether they were Classic or made by master European carvers of the day. It is generally believed that the latter holds true, but the quality of the carvings are so superb that these items, (now 220 years old themselves), are highly sought after and held in the world's most famous museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museums. This Pendant is carved for the Prince Poniatowski around 1815. The 18K and enamel gold frame mount a later addition from the 1870s. Many of the engraved gems were signed – some by fictitious, some by illustrious sculptors of antiquity, such as this example, signed ΑΠΟΛΛΟΝΙΔΟΥ (Apollonides). Yet instead of serving to prove the age of the pieces, the signatures evoked questions. The collection was regarded as too excellent, too well-preserved – in short, too good to be true. Poniatowski himself had commissioned the artists to cut the most interesting, never seen motifs from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Homer's Odyssee and Ilias in stone. Interestingly, none of the cameos are copies of known originals from antiquity, but rather they are original artworks. It was only in recent decades that the artistic value of the cameos has been recognised: nowadays, they are being held in high regard as highlights of neoclassical art – unusual in their pictorial invention, and masterly cut. Prince Stanislaw Poniatowski (1754 - 1833) was the nephew and heir of Stanislaus II August, the last King of Poland, who was forced to abdicate in 1795. The Prince moved to Rome and styled himself as a passionate collector of antiquities.
  • More Information
    Period: 19th Century
    Condition: Good.
    Creation Date: C.1815
    Metals: Gold
    Gender: Men's , Ladies'
    Styles / Movements: Rare Jewels, Other
    Dealer Reference #: AL3752
    Incollect Reference #: 601676
Message from Seller:

Louis Wine Ltd., Toronto based specialists in Antique Silver, Antique Jewellery and Decorative Arts, is a fourth generation family business managed by Richard Wine.

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