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2018/1. A Rediscovered Poniatowski Gem in the National Museum in Cracow. Paweł Gołyźniak


This article presents new research about the origins of engraved gems in the collection of Constantine Schmidt-Ciążyński (1818-1889). One of the intaglios - an amethyst with a scene of Euryclea discovering Ulysses by the scar on his knee - from this rich cabinet once belonged to Prince Stanislas Poniatowski (1754-1833). The Prince’s gems were completely dispersed after his death in 1839 and only the descriptions in the catalogues and incomplete sets of impressions in Berlin (Antikensammlung) and Oxford (Beazley Archive) allow us to track and identify them. Schmidt-Ciążyński could have purchased this intaglio at the auction of Lord Monson gems in 1851. The discovery is important as it was thought that Constantine did not buy any of the gems from the Poniatowski collection. Apart from this an attempt has been made in the reconstruction of Prince Poniatowski's complete collection. Based on the drawings from Antikensammlung Berlin, the gem in Cracow, can most likely be attributed to the gem engraver of the first half of the nineteenth century - Giovanni Calandrelli.


Paweł Gołyźniak is Affiliate Researcher at the Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow and the author of the forthcoming publication “Ancient Engraved Gems in the National Museum in Cracow”