Intaglios find their origin in Sumer in the 4th millennium BC with the creation of cylinder and stamp seals. A seal comprises a design carved onto a hard material: although most often made of stone, there are also examples rendered in bone, ivory, faience, glass, or, as this case shows us, in semi-precious stones like carnelian. In the ancient world, seals guaranteed the authenticity of marked ownership. As such, they were instrumental in legal transactions, and in the protection of goods against theft.
To discover more about Intaglios, please visit our relevant blog post: Intaglios: Miniature Masterpieces.