Collection online

intaglio / finger-ring

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1913,0307.127

  • Description

    Intaglio; amethyst; Achilles and Penthesilea; Achilles on right, armed, supports Penthesilea, who sinks to the ground before him, nearly nude; in background, a vase upon a cippus, an Amazon's shield and double-headed axe; inscribed; in gold ring with swivel.

  • Date

    • 18thC
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 0.57 inches
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Cyrillic
      • Inscription Position

        obverse
      • Inscription Transliteration

        ASPASIOU
  • Curator's comments

    Text from Dalton 1915, Catalogue of Engraved Gems:
    In a gold ring with swivel.
    Furtwängler, Jahrbuch des kaiserlich deutschen Arch. Inst., iv, 1889, p. 49.
    For the gem-engraver Aspasius, see Introduction, p. lxii, and nos. 701, 828.

    Supplementasry information to Dalton 1915:
    B.M. Cat. of Gems, 1888, no. 2294.Text from Payne Knight's Latin manuscript catalogue
    79) Penthesilea, more Phrygio pileata, caeterum nuda, chlamyde prolapsa, pelta projecta, et bipenni relicta, ad Ili columnam genu innixo, et ab Achille interfectore, pone stante, galeato, chlamydato et calceato, caeterum nudo, moribunda sustentata, amethysto pulcherrima pulcherrime insculpta, pone adscripto ΑΣΠΑΣΙΟΥ, nomine in secundo casu artificis; quem inter summos fuisse sui generis, parvula haec sigilla, omnibus numeris expleta et absoluta plane demonstrant.* Fuit olim musei Borghesiani Romae.
    *Inter picturas Panaeni Phidiae fratris in solio Jovis Olympiae fuit τελευταια εν τῃ γραφῃ Πενϑεσιλεια τε αφιεισα την ψυχην, και Αχιλλευς ανεχων εστιν αυτην. Pausan: V. II.

    Translation
    Penthesilea, wearing a cap in the Phrygian style, otherwise nude, with her cloak having fallen down, her half-moon shield cast aside, and her battle-axe left behind, her knee knelt upon a column of the city of Troy, and dying, having been held up by her killer, Achilles, who is standing behind her, helmeted, cloaked and wearing shoes, otherwise nude, engraved very beautifully in the most beautiful amethyst, inscribed “of Aspanias” on the back, with the name of the artist in the genitive case; and these little images, complete and perfect in the every category, demonstrate clearly that he was among the best of his age.* It once belonged to the Museo Borghese in Rome.
    *Among the paintings of Panaenus, the brother of Phidias, on the throne of Olympian Jupiter, last in the picture was Penthesilea giving up the ghost and Achilles supporting her. Pausanias: V. II.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Dalton 1915 820 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G47/dc3

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1824

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1913,0307.127

  • Additional IDs

    • 1824,0301.79 (Greek and Roman reg.no)
    • RPK.79 (Payne Knight Collection)
Intaglio; amethyst; Achilles and Penthesilea; Achilles on right, armed, supports Penthesilea, who sinks to the ground before him, nearly nude; in background, a vase upon a cippus, an Amazon's shield and double-headed axe; inscribed; in gold ring with swiv

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: MCT8177

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...