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Sealstones; iconography


#1

For those who are interested in seals, a couple of suggestions: A
winged helmet is a good guess for Mercury if you are sure its not
really a cres ted helmut! Roman seals are often so indifferently
carved that its diffi cult to make out the details. Wings on the
body usually mean Eros but he normally has bare feet. Best thing to
do is make a clay impression, you can see the details more clearly
and that is how the image is supposed to be viewed. A couple of good
books: John Boardman, Archaic Greek Gems, Engraved Gems ; in fact
anything he has written. Jeffrey Spier, Ancient Gems & Finger R ings,
Catalogue of the Collection, J. Paul Getty Museum. There are really
an awfully lot of possible scenes including heros, legen ds, muses
and minor deities and demigods. Seals can be very interesting they
are really minature sculptures of the period and reflect the styles
and tastes of that period. Roman seals are available and usually can
be purchased from $200 for a very small or a s mall damaged piece to
around $800 for a really nice larger seal. Men par ticularly like
them in signet style rings, thats how the Roman’s liked th em too.
Greek and Etruscan are rarely available, I’ve found about three, and
add a zero to the price. Richard