After some study and the fortuitous visit of a friend, the subject was identified as being Ulysses, the original Greek name being Odysseus, receiving the winds from Aeolus, as told in the Odyssey by Homer. With the subject known, I was able to narrow down my search on the Beazley Archives website and found the gem, illustrated only with its impression from when it was in possession of John Tyrrell, Esq., in 1841, who had purchase it along with 1,200 other gems from the Poniatowski collection from Chrisities in London after the princes death. Tyrrell believed the gems to be ancient, even though by this time a number of scholars doubted them, and he had casts made of the gems, and published them along with catalogs of his collection and distributed them to scholars around the world. This catalog and the plaster impressions taken from the gems, have allowed for the re-discovery of many of the Poniatowski gems. This particular one is number T1017, the T being for Tyrrell.
Like all the gems, or at least most, in the Poniatowski Collection this gem is very high quality, beautiful, and its subject very interesting. The Poniatowski Collection represents one of the greatest collections of gem engraving of its time ever assembled. This gem was designed by Calandrelli, the drawing is in the Antikensammlung Berlin, and now the gem is with me.
|Photo of the impression from when it belonged to John Tyrrell. (image courtesy Beazley Archives)|