It's a large Byzantine sardonyx
bowl, which Hamilton bought when he was British ambassador to Russia in 1807.
The speaker tells the reader, "Your gemstone is sardonyx
," and "Jupiter rules your knees and bones / You'll drain your own blood to purge yourself of memory and desire.
The semi precious stones are garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, emerald, pearl, moonstone, alexandrite, sardonyx
, peridot, opal, tourmaline, topaz, citrine, turquoise, lapis lazuli, zircon etc.
No specific names of Italian or French lapidaries working in the imperial courts of Jahangir and Shahjahan have ever been found, yet the quality of this cameo, executed in sardonyx
with a white ground, illustrates Western influence and the role hard-stonecarving played in the Mughal period, most especially under the patronage of Shahjahan.
These gems included agate, sardonyx
, chalcedony and other semi-transparent stones, regarded by today's jewellers as gemstones as distinguished from precious stones, a term used only for diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
Gemstones like agate onyx, or sardonyx
were the materials of choice for early cameos, while in the 19th century, carvers used such materials such as stone, shell, lava and coral.
50) On the other hand, a box with fifty-seven small sardonyx
plaques held by a framework of gilded and nielloed silver has no Islamic parallel and must represent local artisanship of an imaginative order.
Or the maidmother by a crucifix, In yellow pastures sunnywarm, Beneath branchwork of costly sardonyx
, Sat smiling', babe in arm.