71 out of 234 days: An intaglio in the Ptolemaic style

BM 1814,0704.2413

I stumbled across this glass paste last week. And haven’t gotten it out of my head so it is today’s featured item.

The style of the face, dare I say portraiture, bears a striking resemblance to representations of Ptolemaic royal women, note especially the shape of the eyes and the fleshiness of the cheeks and neck and the pointy small chin. Compare face on coin below.

CPO link

The intaglio is even more interesting because it is not singular! It has a twin that was found at Pompeii!

Pannuti, U. 1983. Catalogo della collezione Glittica del Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli vol. 1, p. 41, no. 57.

I’ve not tracked down an image of the twin yet or Pannuti’s write up, so I’m not sure if it is a mold match or just a close approximation.

Yet I don’t think this is a Hellenistic royal portrait. There is no diadem. And that hair style is not particularly Ptolemaic, nor Republican. Any ideas on the hair style most welcome!


self-accountability section

Yesterday I met most goals. Which is really just a testimony to me getting better at estimating what I can really do in one day, rather than any increase in productivity. I used to be part of a writing/research group for faculty that has a daily goal setting practice of articulating what was bare minimum, acceptable, and rock star levels for day’s tasks. The utility of that discipline was the very concrete nature of the goal. For example: min. 300 words, ok 600 words, rock-star 900 words.

I only have two musts today (some smelting logistics and a convo on an edited volume), the rest is that challenge of self direction in the face of many valuable and interesting projects (as good problem to have). I think what I will do is edit into a blog post an old conference paper that I am looking to transform into a chapter of my next book. I’m feeling far away from the book project as my collaborative research keeps marching forward (thank goodness for other humans!). So my hope is that a little time in will keep that project equally fresh.

You, dear reader, might enjoy it too.

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