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Intaglio - Angels holding a cross

Angels holding a cross

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Persia (made)

  • Date:

    400-500 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chalcedony, with cast

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr Alfred Behrens

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 2, shelf 3

An intaglio carving is cut into the surface of the material and a cameo is in relief. The art of gemstone carving was known in ancient Greece and Rome and revived in Renaissance Italy, when connoisseurs began to form rich collections of engraved stones. Shell cameos, which were cheaper and more easily worked, became fashionable in the 19th century. Many were bought by tourists as souvenirs.

Physical description

Chalcedony intaglio. The seal faces bears a rough representation of two figures in short dresses (angels) facing one another. Between them is a staff with a cross, on the left an ornament. The seal is formed of a sector of a chalcedony pebble. A hole is pierced transversely.

Place of Origin

Persia (made)


400-500 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Chalcedony, with cast


Height: 23 mm

Descriptive line

Chalcedony intaglio depicting two angels holding a cross, Iran (Sassanian), 5th to 6th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Trusted, Majorie. ed. The Making of Sculpture: the Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: V&A Publications, 2007. p. 145. pl. 272.





Subjects depicted

Angels; Cross


Sculpture; Jewellery


Sculpture Collection

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