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A place/cutter for custom intaglios?

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
305
Hiya! I recently fell in love with a bunch of old Roman intaglios. I'd love to get one made in that style, but I'm not loving a lot of the designs I'm seeing out there for ready-made ones.

I was wondering if any of you knew or could recommend someone to do a custom one?

An example of the kind of design/complexity I've been looking for.
intaglio.jpeg

Thanks for any help!
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,203
Oooh, I’m also watching with interest!

I haven’t got any suggestions for you on the custom carving plan, sorry. I assume you’ve checked with them, but in case not, have you looked through the loose seal section of Seal & Scribe’s website?

I’d love an actual Roman one for the sheer romance, ideally sardonyx for various reasons. It was apparently frequently used for intaglios in Roman times, but I’ve also never found one where the stone and picture both appealed.

The idea of a custom carved piece also massively appeals however and had never occurred to me!
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
305
I have seen them! But they look mostly to be about re-setting or using existing stones. I really am enchanted at the idea of a custom on one :)

I adore so many of the Roman ones, but gosh they're pricey and more suitable for a museum :razz:
 

SallyBrown

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
332
I don’t normally love purple and never seriously considered buying an intaglio. But I‘m smitten with the ring you posted. Is it for sale and and do you know for how much? Where did you find this one? :)

Sorry I can’t help with your original question. Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,203
I don’t normally love purple and never seriously considered buying an intaglio. But I‘m smitten with the ring you posted. Is it for sale and and do you know for how much? Where did you find this one? :)

Sorry I can’t help with your original question. Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Guessing from the setting and the gold colour, that’s an original piece. I’m not sure it’s something that would be wearable, certainly not on a daily basis, after 2,000 years. Loose seals or coins reset into modern settings would be likely to be much more robust.
 
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JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
305
I don’t personally own a piece, however, have admired the fine work of intagliospb on Etsy. I’m not sure they would custom cut and carve but it may be worth an ask.
I've sent them a message!

I don’t normally love purple and never seriously considered buying an intaglio. But I‘m smitten with the ring you posted. Is it for sale and and do you know for how much? Where did you find this one? :)

Sorry I can’t help with your original question. Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Ha! I'm afraid I don't think it's for sale. I saw it posted here from an Archaeology twitter. It's from the 1st-2nd century.
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
305
Haha, now I just hope to get something like it made!

Perhaps a first step would be finding an artist that can well translate blurry photos to a drawn image? The Etsy person noted the image I provided was fairly hard to make out.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,203
You got me intrigued! Here’s an article that mentions some specific names and areas that specialise in this art, although the references are in relation to high end jewellery houses so they won’t be on the cheaper end of the spectrum. If nothing else it at least gives a term to search - you apparantly need to find a glyptician, which isn’t a term I’d heard before!


Do you keep an eye on the higher end auction houses, in case an original that you like pops up? I window shop auction catalogues for these fairly regularly and there’s usually a mix of original settings and intaglios that have been reset, often in Victorian settings. The less nice intaglios are reasonable, but the higher quality, sharply detailed pieces in attractive stones seem to quickly move up in price (which is why I’m stuck window shopping!). Personally, I wouldn’t have the heart to take one out of an original Roman setting and would cherish it, unworn, as is. But I’d happily remove one from a Victorian setting to wear in a modern piece!

Is it Doug at Bespoke Gems who’s carved a few scarab beetles recently? He might be a place to start - slightly left field from his normal work but the scarabs has me wondering.
 
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123ducklings

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
561
I don’t have any experience purchasing, but I like looking on IG — intaglio_spb, olithicaofficial, ryan_intaglio (more modern stuff). I’d love to see what you come up with if you’re willing to bring us along on the journey.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
678
I had our family crest hand-engraved in a big flat Burma ruby and I use it to seal all my texts and emails.
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
305
So thank YOU especially, because she's who I decided to work with :)

She was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, and fielded my enormous pile of questions.

Questions I didn't realize I needed to know:
  1. Do I prefer translucent or more transparent?
  2. On the surface do I want a high polish or a frosted polish?
  3. Rounded cab surface or a flat surface?
Originally I had been looking into amethysts, but I also mentioned liking blue/green stones.

There's a supply of types of stone she can source and others she couldn't. She showed me some blueish chalcedony, topaz, and brazilian amethyst.

90AC9E85-FF96-499B-8BF7-52A46E6EB7B4.jpg

The chalcedony was a lovely light periwinkle blue/lavender. However, a touch more transparent and not as strong in color (but quite sizeable). I decided that I wasn't as into the clearer stuff like the topaz and amethyst.

3908130B-3542-436A-B98E-F7C096ED97CB.jpg

However, she also had a really beautiful chrysoprase of milky blue green. It was smaller in size (14 mm as opposed to the 18 mm chalcedony) but I absolutely fell in love with the color.

I wasn't sure if the design would translate well to the stone though, so she did a little sketching to show how it might read.

5F761D18-2A3E-4AC9-B763-AF4866ED5C37.jpg
(if hard to tell, it's two individual kneeling across from one another with some vines around them and a pillar between them)

Anddddd, I'm pretty sold. It's a bit smaller in size than what I was originally looking for, but I think the color impact of the stone will carry a lot of weight. Also, at that size I can likely turn it into an EW ring.
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
305
I wonder if she works with client’s stones?
She does! She mentioned if she didn’t have the stone herself, I could find one. I would just ideally need to get it pre-flattened on the back (and front if I so decided) because trimming/cutting the size of it is highly time consuming for her (and would be an additional charge).
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
2,814
This is too cool! :love:
I’m excited to see the process/progress.
will you share if you are able /can?

and I’m curious if there’s a fable/story/myth behind the drawing you have?
Like I think there’s one related to pan playing the flute for the stag?
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,354
This is a super cool project - I hope you will share your journey and the final piece of course!
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
305
This is too cool! :love:
I’m excited to see the process/progress.
will you share if you are able /can?

and I’m curious if there’s a fable/story/myth behind the drawing you have?
Like I think there’s one related to pan playing the flute for the stag?
I'll be happy to share :)

The drawing is based off a design of an old Roman intaglio I saw, but being adapted to represent Achilles and Patroclus :)
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
873
So thank YOU especially, because she's who I decided to work with :)

She was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, and fielded my enormous pile of questions.

Questions I didn't realize I needed to know:
  1. Do I prefer translucent or more transparent?
  2. On the surface do I want a high polish or a frosted polish?
  3. Rounded cab surface or a flat surface?
Originally I had been looking into amethysts, but I also mentioned liking blue/green stones.

There's a supply of types of stone she can source and others she couldn't. She showed me some blueish chalcedony, topaz, and brazilian amethyst.

90AC9E85-FF96-499B-8BF7-52A46E6EB7B4.jpg

The chalcedony was a lovely light periwinkle blue/lavender. However, a touch more transparent and not as strong in color (but quite sizeable). I decided that I wasn't as into the clearer stuff like the topaz and amethyst.

3908130B-3542-436A-B98E-F7C096ED97CB.jpg

However, she also had a really beautiful chrysoprase of milky blue green. It was smaller in size (14 mm as opposed to the 18 mm chalcedony) but I absolutely fell in love with the color.

I wasn't sure if the design would translate well to the stone though, so she did a little sketching to show how it might read.

5F761D18-2A3E-4AC9-B763-AF4866ED5C37.jpg
(if hard to tell, it's two individual kneeling across from one another with some vines around them and a pillar between them)

Anddddd, I'm pretty sold. It's a bit smaller in size than what I was originally looking for, but I think the color impact of the stone will carry a lot of weight. Also, at that size I can likely turn it into an EW ring.
OMG I am SO excited for you and that you were able to work with her! Such talent...

I will be following with interest. I LOVE chrysoprase and think it will be stunning and that is my favorite color. This is going to be very, very cool.
 
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