Sale 19618
Masterpieces in Miniature: Ancient Engraved Gems formerly in the G. Sangiorgi Collection Part II
Online 2 - 16 June 2020


The strap hoop is formed of hammered sheet, each end perforated, with a plain wire threaded through the gem and corresponding hoop perforations. A wire loop is loosely wrapped around the hoop. The gem is engraved with the foreparts of two winged horses joined in a clockwise whirl, with a single tendril in the field.
For the subject, see nos. 276-287 and pl. X in J. Boardman, Island Gems, A Study of Greek Seals in the Geometric and Early Archaic Period.

Pre-lot text

MASTERPIECES IN MINIATURE, PART II: ANCIENT ENGRAVED GEMS FORMERLY IN THE G. SANGIORGI COLLECTION
Lots 587-617

The engraved gems presented here, the second group to be offered at Christie's, represent only a small portion of a much larger collection originally assembled by Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886-1965). Part of the collection was recently published by Sir John Boardman and Claudia Wagner, Masterpieces in Miniature: Engraved Gems from Prehistory to the Present, London, 2018. Some originate from famous older collections with provenance back to the Renaissance.

Giorgio Sangiorgi was a second-generation art dealer based in Rome. His father Giuseppe opened the Galleria Sangiorgi in 1890 in the Palazzo Borghese at 117 via Ripetta. Specializing primarily in European works of art, the gallery presented objects in a retail environment but also conducted countless auctions and specialized exhibitions, often collaborating with leading scholars. The Sangiorgis’ counted major museums around the world, members of the European courts and dedicated collectors among its clientele. Giorgio amassed private collections in the special fields of ancient glass and engraved gems. He became a dedicated connoisseur, and frequently published scholarly articles in both fields. He acquired gems all over Europe throughout his lifetime in the early to middle years of the 20th century. Fearful of the impending war, he moved his collection to Switzerland in the late 1930s.

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