Antique gems: their origin, uses, and value as interpreters of ancient history; and as illustrative of ancient art: with hints to gem collectors

Antique gems: their origin, uses, and value as interpreters of ancient history; and as illustrative of ancient art: with hints to gem collectors

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GEORGE'S
Park Street, Bristol ANTIQUE GEMS:
AND VALUEORIGIN, USES,
AS INTERPRETERS OF ANCIENT HISTORY AND AS ILLUSTRATIVE
;
OF ANCIENT ART:
WITH HINTS TO GEM COLLETORS.
Bv HKV. ('. W. K I XG. M. A.
FKLr.OW OF TRIXITY CAMBRIDIJK.(X3LLE0F,,
Gemmte et ia arctum coacta rerum natursesupeisant majestas miiliis
nulla sui mirabilior." Plis. Nat Hist, xxxvii. i.partfl
SECOND EDITION.
LONDON:
ON N M I i;i:.\ V. A i.iii:m a ulk sti: i:i:t
1866.
The TtatislcUion if reserinl.right of LiBiiAy Catneo. PlasmaA^ave;
P K E F A C E.
Probably at no in has art in its various rela-Englandperiod
tions been so illustrated and so investi-intelligently fully
as the last ten The numerous exhibitionsgated during years.
both in this and onof works of theart, country Continent,
have doubtless contributed to this result and withpartly ;
there hasincreased of taste at thedevelopment sprimg up
same time an earnest desire to the of
investigate principles
art in variousancient its and to trace the dif-productions,
ferent which it has before it attainedphases through passed
its of excellence. of art,highest degree Every department
its orboth ancient and lias found histo-mediaeval, expositor
rian and the amateur or student who desires to make him-
;
self with the or of
acquainted painting, sculpture, pottery
can at once be referredancient or media)val to abletimes,
him with thetreatises which will furnish fullest information
and kindred But there is oneon those subjects. department
the ancients and of ...

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GEORGE'S Park Street, Bristol ANTIQUE GEMS: AND VALUEORIGIN, USES, AS INTERPRETERS OF ANCIENT HISTORY AND AS ILLUSTRATIVE ; OF ANCIENT ART: WITH HINTS TO GEM COLLETORS. Bv HKV. ('. W. K I XG. M. A. FKLr.OW OF TRIXITY CAMBRIDIJK.(X3LLE0F,, Gemmte et ia arctum coacta rerum natursesupeisant majestas miiliis nulla sui mirabilior." Plis. Nat Hist, xxxvii. i.partfl SECOND EDITION. LONDON: ON N M I i;i:.\ V. A i.iii:m a ulk sti: i:i:t 1866. The TtatislcUion if reserinl.right of LiBiiAy Catneo. PlasmaA^ave; P K E F A C E. Probably at no in has art in its various rela-Englandperiod tions been so illustrated and so investi-intelligently fully as the last ten The numerous exhibitionsgated during years. both in this and onof works of theart, country Continent, have doubtless contributed to this result and withpartly ; there hasincreased of taste at thedevelopment sprimg up same time an earnest desire to the of investigate principles art in variousancient its and to trace the dif-productions, ferent which it has before it attainedphases through passed its of excellence. of art,highest degree Every department its orboth ancient and lias found histo-mediaeval, expositor rian and the amateur or student who desires to make him- ; self with the or of acquainted painting, sculpture, pottery can at once be referredancient or media)val to abletimes, him with thetreatises which will furnish fullest information and kindred But there is oneon those subjects. department the ancients and of whichof art in which excelled,peculiarly b IV PREFACE. ofhave us the mostthey bequeathed exquisite specimens their and which has beenskill, neg-genius comparatively in this or at least has not received the atten-lected country, tion due to its : I mean their Gems.Engravedimportance It with truth be asserted that there are few remains ofmay with and as theancient art so replete grace beauty engraved theof and when we take into consideration;gems antiquity uses have subserved to the archae-historian,important they and it seems unaccountable that this valuableartist,ologist, brancli of art should have been so long neglected; yet init is a fact that there does not exist our language any scientific treatise or manual to which the student canpopular be referred who is desirous of the of this entering upon study Imost instructive Of this can fromsubject. speak experi- for on the ofence, myself commencing study antique gems andseveral a residence at Eomeyears ago, during long with ofFlorence, though ample opportunities gaining prac- as far as Itical information the themselves,regards gems felt the want of some manual to notme,greatly guide in the first and the of theprinciples history glypticmerely has beenart (which attempted, though very sketchily, by one that tobut of some extent atshould, least,Millin), me theserve to usual errors into which be-guard against and one which should as far asfall,ginners supply, possible, to obtain whichthat we asmust,experience practically, a asGoethe many heavy apprentice-fee. Hitherto,says, pay has offar as the kind has beenmy reading gone, nothing in our in the excellent series oflanguage, exceptattempted ' 'Old which inentitled Eraser'sEings,' appearedessays, ' 1856 and thethe standard work; hasduring yearMagazine '' remained the Pierres Gravees of moreMariette, published a before. The books named in the list ofthan century authors at the end of this volume furnish indeedgiven PREFACE. V but tlioso arcvaluable volu-hints,many dispersed through minous and are to be with totreatises, selected,only profit a reader to some conversant withhimself, by already degree the details of the science. I have therefore herepractical own the accumulated memo-observations,put together my randa of and the results of the careful examina-many years, tion of thousands of of all and ofmany gems ages every style. These I have illustrated from ancientby authors,passages and fromextracts other to eluci-sources,by copious tending date the matters herein discussed. This book had in fact its first in a series of notes indownorigin jotted my pocketbook whenever a of interest came undergem particular my inspec- or whenever of the author I chanced to betion, any passage contributed at all to the of the difficultiesreading explanation that this sobeset entrance that it be;my upon study may described as a series of solutions of the numerous problems which the has hitherto been incipient gem-collector obliged at a vast ofto work out for himself, time,expenditure temper, and Most of these translated will be foundpassagesmoney. but inatgiven length (though occasionally part bearing upon or the under whenever itillustrating point consideration) ap- me that would lose their interest curtailment.topeared they by be found inwill the course of theseIMany repetitions pages, and these I have allowed to remain in the insheets,revising order make each as it in thisto article, were, itself,complete treatise for a book of to bereference,being chiefly designed consulted means of the index annexed. Thus byby copious the aid of these the reader will to some be repetitions degree the trouble of from one article to another,spared referring be considered assince ofthemmany may independent essays, in of which theeach discussed,particular subject together haswith been worked out to theit,everything bearing upon and to the extent of the materialsbest of accordingmy ability, b 2 VI PEEFACE. at The various coins and coin-my disposal. disquisitions upon dies at first to themay sight appear foreign professed design of these but as were the ;pages they indisputably productions the the andof the same class of artists as ofengravers gems, besides the sole means we have of deter-almostare, this, the date of the with which coincide in themining gems they of and of it seemed unad-treatment,identity workmanship visable to them over without some consideration.pass slight The series of extracts relative to the mediaevallong supersti- " tions the of and of absurdas to theirpowers gems sigils," as seem to the are of inte-ordinary reader, yet greattheymay rest to the student of the of the Middle for in ;history Ages the writers of that ideas are fre-allusions to such ofperiod and are to be understood withoutoccurrence,quent hardly some with this at that time anbelief,previous acquaintance '' established article of faith. The of Marbodus,Lapidarium besides its interest asthe earliest didactic since the classicpoem was for five centuries the received text-book on mine-times, for all the students of Mediaeval ; and,ralogy Europe together with the extracts from and theOrpheus Pliny, completes chain of the ancient writers on stones from theTheophrastus founder of the science. The extensive and class of Gnosticvery interesting gems has never hitherto been treated of in work thatany English has come in in the brief sketch Dr.my way, except Walsh,by '' itself little more than an of the ofabridgment Apistopistus IMacarius. have therefore bestowed a considerable amount of care this of the and have describedportion treatise,upon in detail all the most that have underinteresting types passed Inexamination. the course of researches formy my intagli to the latest of the I have been for-belonging art,period tunate to meet with authentic ofenough notices ofmany and executed someinterest, centuries after the dategreat