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Here is an image of a wax seal that was found in the Goetz cabinet stash. It appears to be Pegasus and I would have thought Persius but the text doesn't imply that. Do we have any Greeks out there that can make heads or tails from the inscription?? I was thinking it might be Russian too but that doesn't make sense. Sorry, the word can't be seen better, even under a 10X stereoscope.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

waxseal800.jpg

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Does " ςωψρλτον " make any sense? That's what the letters look like to me.

 

Could it be the Greek word for Bellerophon? One French medalist named some of his medals with the Greek name of the character represented in Greek. I do not think this is an example of that medalist's work, but it was a technique that was used. I assume you are looking for a clue to the artist or something that might allow you to track down the location of the medal (assuming it is a museum). Perhaps an inquiry to Phillip Atwood at the Bristish Museum might help? I can try to track down his email address if that would help. I at least can find his mail address as he edits the British magazine, The Medal.

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βελλεροφων = Bellerophon. Goetzdude, I agree that your transcription looks like what's on the seal, but even with my limited knowledge of Greek I don't think it spells a Greek word. Hmmmm... Might we ask the guys in ancients who know more Greek?

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On another forum someone experienced with ancients came up with; CWKPATOY - which, if we assume it's later Greek usage, in Latin/English lettering would be SOCRATOU, "of Socrates". I don't know squat about this but it doesn't make sense to me that Socrates would be mentioned with an image of of Bellerophon and Pegasus.

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A google search points to several books (on google books) about ancient coins. The word appears to be the name (CWKPATOY TOY EENCWANOY) of a magistrate (who issued the coins?). I know that doesn't help much, but it does point somewhat to a name rather than Socrates and a historical figure.

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The Wedgewood plaque I posted was apparently made from a gem in the possession of the Duke of Marlborough. As was a cast in Terra Cota by Mr Wedgewood of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche, from the gem in possession of the Duke of Marlborough.

 

The Marlborough Collection

The collection of the Fourth Duke of Marlborough (1739-1817) at Blenheim Palace was the largest and most important of the 18th-century English collections. It comprised about 800 pieces. Of these one third was a Renaissance collection of the Gonzaga Dukes of Mantua (15th/16th-century), acquired by Lord Arundel in the mid-17th century; one third the mid-18th-century collection of Lord Bessborough (including collections of Lord Chesterfield and others); and one third from the Duke's own collecting in Italy and elsewhere. The Gonzaga gems were famed in Renaissance Italy but never published (as were the Medici); the Bessborough gems were a good mix of ancient, Renaissance and later, published in summary lists without illustration; while the Duke's own interests took him over the whole field, from ancient to neo-classical, and he was a notable patron of the most important neo-classical engravers, whose works he acquired

 

"We have made considerable progress in the reconstruction of the collection and identified impressions of a vast proportion of the collection among the wax impressions and electrotypes in the Beazley Archive.

 

I think your seal originated from the Beazley archive, that is it is a wax copy of one of Marlboroughs gems.

The information for the link Frank posted follows:

329, Bellerophon Watering Pegasos at Hippokrene; a Tree Behind. Ground Line. Inscribed ? Otiatou, Or the Like, Apparently a False Copy of Sostratou which Appears on Other Versions.

 

The name has just been clipped at the start.

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Googled again. I took the liberty of reversing the image.

 

cc0010017.jpg

 

40000566, Poniatowski, T537, Atalanta Killing the Centaurs Rhoecus and Hylaeus [They are Seen Falling Backwards Transfixed with Arrows], Sotratou, Sostratos, Prendeville, J.: Explanatory Catalogue of the Proof-impressions of the Antique Gems Possessed by the Late Prince Poniatowski and Now in the Possession of John Tyrrell, Esq. (1841), 537, Cornelian

 

 

Same inscription as yours! Sotratou, Sostratos was a magistrate

Illyria-Apollonia, AR Drachm, Filotas (Moneyer), Sostratou (Magistrate) wether the same person, who knows, but the same name. So it is definitely a name!!!

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Thought I should post a link.

 

THE MARLBOROUGH COLLECTION

 

I noticed that: 190 Sardonyx Sacrifice to Dionysos and 231.Tassie Onyx Priapus worship show the same object, just different copies, but are labeled differently. So sent them an email.

 

Thanks for posting the topic, great fun doing the research.

 

P.S. Just received this email (FSA stands for Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries):

 

Well spotted! I did originally identify the Tassie impression with the wrong

description and when we then found the impression with the right number in

Blenheim Palace the unfortunate duplication came about (I had already corrected

it in the manuscript for the book, though...). So the right number is 190.

 

Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention.

 

Best wishes,

 

Claudia

 

P.S.: I love your coin collection, too...

--

Dr Claudia Wagner FSA

Beazley Archive; Classics Centre

66 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LU; Great Britain

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Thought I should post a link.

 

THE MARLBOROUGH COLLECTION

 

I noticed that: 190 Sardonyx Sacrifice to Dionysos and 231.Tassie Onyx Priapus worship show the same object, just different copies, but are labeled differently. So sent them an email.

 

Thanks for posting the topic, great fun doing the research.

 

 

Yeah, same subject matter but carved into different stone. Google has actually scanned the 1870 MARLBOROUGH COLLECTION book and you can download it. No images but you can read about the history of the collection and it has descriptions of each gem.

 

I'm going to write to them and try to find out why Goetz might have had one...I'm assuming that it is a display impression piece I now own as it has been "framed" like those pieces in the archives. Perhaps they can shed more light on the matter. S

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Here is the response back from the professionals at the museum:

_____________________________________________________

 

Dear *****,

 

Your impression is not of the Marlborough gem but of a very similar one. They

all copy a relief in the Palazzo Spada (Bober/Rubinstein, no. 139a):

 

Bellerophon with dress over one shoulder and shouldering a spear, watering

Pegasos at the spring Hippokrene; a tree behind. Ground line.

 

All of them have slighly dodgy Greek inscriptions, yours is much better than

the Marlborough, the proper SOSTRATOU (ours manages a strange OTIATOV, or the

like).

 

Your version actually appears in Tassie:

 

[L=Tassie Collection]http://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/gems/tassie/default.htm[/L]

 

enter the gem number 9052 in the box on the right. You can toggle between text

and picture. Even Tassie didn't disclose the private collector of the original.

It is more than likely that your impressions are actually manufactured by

Tassie. If there is the number 9052 on the paper wrapper that would clinch it.

The material it is made from is not actually red wax (as our Marlborough

impressions) but 'red sulphur'. It gives a very crisp product with a hard and

durable surface which is strangely brittle and can be a bit bubbly inside. That

break at the bottom definitely shouts red sulphur...

There were other manufacturers of gem impressions (among them Lippert in

Germany, Dolce and Dehn in Rome) but Tassie had the greatest number on offer

scholars could choose from. They would browse the catalogue and pick and mix.

The full set of 15800 impressions was only ordered twice: by Catherine the

Great and the V&A. See if the Tassie numbers correspond with your impressions!

 

Best wishes,

 

Claudia

____________________________________________________________

 

Unfortunately my impression has the #27 written on it...I wrote and asked if she could provide more info.

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