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Extraordinary Large Translucent Banded Agate Intaglio of Theseus Slaying the Minotaur

(Catullus, 64. Also Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII, 152–82. Also Appolodorus, Epitome, E:I, 7–9) Signed in Greek beneath the groundline, ΠΙXΛΕΡ ΕΠΟΙ (abbreviated, “Pichler made me”). Antonio Pichler (1697–1779), the founder of a dynasty of virtuosi gem-carvers working in Italy throughout the late 18th and 19th Centuries. The human femur on the groundline recall work on some of the gems in the collections of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski, for whom various members of the Pichler family worked.

18th Century

Height: 24 mm. (0 15/16 in.)

Width: 34 mm (1 3/8 in.)

4 mm. (0 3/16 in.)


Published: Antiquarium; Ancient Treasures XX. (London, 2022) p.49

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