|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: A Genuine Fake Poniatowski Gem?
Author(s): SEIDMANN, Gertrud
Volume: 74 Issue: Date: 1999
A gold swivel ring mounted with an intaglio gem depicting Jason was on the New York art market in 1995. The engraving on the orange, lightly striated cornelian, a long oval measuring 31x18 mm, represents the legendary hero standing frontally in a graceful pose, his weight resting on his left leg, while his head is turned in profile to his right. He is naked but for a helmet with a large crest and sandals on his feet; a cloak, fastened at the throat with a brooch and billowing behind him, is gathered over his right arm, in which he grasps a short lance, and a sword is slung from the baldric across his shoulder; the captured golden fleece is draped over his left arm. In the field on the right, a Greek name is inscribed in reverse, reading from top to bottom; it is that of Augustus's gem engraver Dioskourides (fl. c.40 BC – c.AD 10). But the signature is not autograph, and its presence makes this gem a fake. Style alone would have excluded an attribution to Dioskourides, it is true, but it can be dated with certainty to the early nineteenth century, for it was then that Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844) created the monumental statue of Jasonwhich is copied on this gem.