servant of the gods

Antique Roman Plasma Intaglio in a Modern Gold Ring, 2020

Center of the ring here is Roman-antique intaglio. Depicted is a slowly walking man. He holds a bowl in front of his body and hands its invisible contents to - yes, to whom? The depiction reminded us of the famous "Praying Boy" from the park of Sanssouci Palace, an antique bronze which Frederick II had placed in his garden so that he could look at it from his bedroom. Is the man depicted here also on his way to the temple to make sacrifices? Roman intaglios in transparent green stones are far rarer than those in orange carnelian or opaque jasper. The stone we see here is translucent green. In gem research, the term "plasma" has come to be used for this material, after a term used in antiquity for corresponding green gems. Behind this word is the idea that the stone is the mother rock of emeralds, literally the rock that forms the emerald (gr. πλάσμα, the formed). The intaglio here of the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. found its way to us from a collection at Cologne. The stone was set in a bracelet of the years around 1800. However, since the gem was originally a Roman ring stone, we recut the stone to make it wearable as a ring again. So our goldsmith made a solid band ring of high karat gold for the antique gem. On the concept of "plasma" see Erika Zwierlein-Diehl: Antike Gemmen und ihr Nachleben, Berlin/New York 2007, p. 307f.

For centuries, the possession of antique cameos and gems was an aspiration of almost all great collections, from the Green Vault in Dresden to the treasury of Rudolf II and large private collections such as that of Baron Stosch in later times. The 18th and 19th centuries produced numerous large imprint collections of ancient Roman and Greek seal stones and gems, which were able to represent the ancient imagery of glyptic almost in its entirety. Due to the great travels undertaken by young nobles and wealthy citizens during this period, the use of gems and cameos changed in the early 19th century to larger forms of jewelry, which were classic and sought-after souvenirs from Italy, cut in stone, shell, or Vesuvius lava.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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