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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Important Early 19th Century Imperial Egyptian Porphyry Ormolu Mounted & Semi Precious Stone Set Ink Well"
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The Red Imperial Egyptian Porphyry, Lapis Porphyrites, was only used in the noblest of the ancient Egyptian temples and tombs which were dedicated to the Pharaohs. Due to it being a very hard rock, it was regarded as to last forever. It was mined by the ancient Romans at Mons Porphyrites. From the 5th century, the only known remaining Egyptian deposit, from Jebel Dokan, was exhausted and the only way to recover the material was to re-use and re-shape parts "taken" from Egyptian buildings. Hence its extreme rarity. Porphyry was forbidden to be used in works of art by the lexpurpurea, an ancient Roman law that forbade its use by anyone but the Imperial Family. However, during the middle ages, this privilege passed to Popes and it was used to signify the blood of Christ in relief panels. Because of its almost indestructible nature it was also used to signify immortality; in the Vatican, St. Helen and Saint Constantia, both lie in Porphyry sarcophagi. In the 16th century the Medici were granted entitlement and the invention of new cutting tools lead to its increasing use. At the end of the eighteenth century deposits appeared in Sweden and Russia whose colour and texture were different to the Porphyry in Egypt. It was thanks to a donation from the Tsar of Russia, that the Emperor's tomb at Les Invalides was built. It goes without saying that any item incorporating Egyptian Porphyry is highly sought after.
|Height||4.50 inch||(11.43 cm)|
|Width||6.00 inch||(15.24 cm)|
|Depth||4.00 inch||(10.16 cm)|
Nicholas Wells Antiques Ltd
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