Featured Glass Intaglio Collection Nathaniel Marchant

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by KSW, Nov 30, 2022.

  1. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    I really need some help to know what I have here please!Sorry it’s a long one!
    Purchase from the charity shop.
    A collection of 14 glass intaglios ranging from 3/4” to 1” across. Some loose and some in surrounds. They are incredibly difficult to photograph so I need to set up some proper lighting. On a white background they are invisible, on black the grain distorts the image.
    Some of the subjects are familiar to me Pan, Hercules and The Three Graces and some I’m unsure of. @Bronwen Please could you help me identify?
    They range from a skilled hand to a little more basic. Some of the glass has lots of bubbles. The camera doesn’t pick up a lot of the detail but some of the glass looks quite old. Lots of dirt doesn’t help either but cleaning is potentially problematic without damaging the surrounds.
    There is one clear signature of Marchant which Google tells me could be Nathaniel Marchant but I’m well aware copies could be made although they don’t give me a modern feel.
    On some there are letters that look like Roman Numerals but not clear enough to read.
    Some have letters at the base of the figures.
    Apologies as I know it may be almost impossible to ascertain much about them from dodgy photos but I’d welcome any input.
    Thankyou for looking :)
    Photos will go onto two posts.
    120F94A5-FB42-4C63-8E8D-E6814DD35B70.jpeg BA717506-402D-45E5-8BA2-BBD88C23D280.jpeg

    4350835E-C17F-46CE-9667-55B82F48EB2D.jpeg 596F525E-54F2-4754-AC36-BFCEF91B0554.jpeg 9E3D3A61-9434-43C7-8D41-8D354CEDC388.jpeg D06F5F1D-7C97-498F-A1B9-ED6768FADFB8.jpeg 52F9F730-BEF8-4A01-BD74-343B71803D1A.jpeg 95F94DF5-2632-4CB6-8926-D42C3D861E31.jpeg F83A4950-F4B3-4676-A0E5-6BCACFD66013.jpeg
     
  2. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

  3. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    I don't know who or what or when, I just know I think these are great :D
     
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  4. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    Thankyou :kiss:
    That makes two of us :)
    Once again, I know not what I buy!
     
    PepperAnna, judy, Any Jewelry and 3 others like this.
  5. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

  6. Aznathalie

    Aznathalie Well-Known Member

  7. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

  8. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

  9. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

  10. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

  11. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    1. Pan
    2. Looks like a copy of a Poniatowski gem but I don't recognize this one right off. Male may be Apollo.
    3. Cupid chained. Looks like there could be a signature on the block he is sitting on but can't make it out.
    4. Cupid & Psyche, signed Pichler in Greek. This is usually Giovanni Pichler.
    5. Cupid reviving Psyche with a kiss, after Canova.
    6. A maenad dancing.
    7. After a Roman Republican coin, the denarius of Plautius Plancus. There is disagreement over whether the lady is Victoria or Aurora.
    8. Think a drunken maenad being supported by a faun. Have not seen this one before.
    9. A crouching bather, usually presumed to be Venus/Aphrodite.
    10. Vaguely looks like Venus teasing Cupid by withholding his weapons.
    11. Has already been IDed as the Farnese Hercules.
    12. Three Graces. Signed Pichler.
    13. Another crouching bather; again, probably Venus. Also Pichler.
    14. Iris bearing water to Olympus for the gods to swear by. Pichler, after the painting by Guy Head.
     
  12. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Nathaniel Marchant did the original engraving, he did not make the glass copy. The point of intaglios is kind of that they can make copies of themselves. People used to collect impressions of the gems in the collections of royalty & nobility. James Tassie made a very good living supplying the huge demand.
     
    stracci, Any Jewelry and kyratango like this.
  13. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Am trying to ID #2. It appears that the image is cut off around the edges, which means that the 'signature' (they were all false) that would have been below the ground line is not there. What is lying on the ground? Looks like a club from here, but this is not Hercules.

    There may be something in the hand of his raised arm that would also be a clue, but...?
     
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  14. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    Wow @Bronwen that is a phenomenal help! Thankyou! You have the most amazing knowledge :)
    Is it possible to date these? or know where they originated?
    So James Tassie made glass copies like this?
    I have a romantic image of someone collecting these on their Grand Tour, a bit like us buying a print from a museum shop because we can’t afford the original!.
    Thankyou @Roaring20s that gives me some reading to do!
     
  15. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

  16. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    This is the one marked Marchant and one of my favourites.
     
    stracci, kyratango and Bronwen like this.
  17. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    I dont know what I would do with them,but Id have bought them too ! Lovely things.
     
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  18. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    People collected them by the hundreds, even thousands, especially the less expensive plaster impressions. They kept them in purpose-built cabinets with many shallow drawers, something like a sheet music cabinet. They were also sold in sets, boxed to look like books you could put on a shelf.

    These glass ones are upscale compared to the plaster ones & the ones in a red sealing wax-like material called sulfur (or sulphur). Tassie's name was made when Catherine the Great ordered from him a complete set of all the impressions he had collected at the time, to be done in glass matching the original stone, along with a cabinet to house them. Still in the Hermitage.
     
    Lark, stracci, Any Jewelry and 2 others like this.
  19. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Impressions of this gem are rarely complete. The V&A has a shell cameo by James Ronca, which he copied from a medallion by Thomas Woolner, who evidently copied an incomplete impression of the gem. The cameo was originally catalogued as Psyche; not unreasonable, as Psyche also had to fetch water from the River Styx & Ronca is known to have made a Psyche. However, he also made more than one cameo of The Rainbow.

    This is how the engraved gem looked in full:

    Iris Pichler L cast.jpg

    The caduceus in the field in front of her lets us know that it is the messenger goddess, not the lovesick mortal. It is, BTW, by Luigi Pichler, not older brother Giovanni. The V&A added the possibility of Iris/The Rainbow after I contacted them & made the case.
     
  20. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    That’s fascinating and kudos to you for challenging the V&A and to them for listening!. I must visit the V&A,I haven’t been since I was a child which is pretty inexcusable. I’m not keen on big cities though.
     
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