A cast glass gem with an intaglio portrait of Voltaire, attributable to James and William Tassie.
The Tassies were merchants of impressions of classical gems during the 18th and 19th centuries. They provided sets and selections of impressions in a variety of materials.
Working with Dr. Quin of Dublin, James Tassie developed an opaque glass that could replicate any colour or pattern. Taking his business to London, he employed highly skilled craftsmen to produce replicas or original gems. Only three sets of impressions taken from Tassie's most comprehensive collection of 15,800 items exist; one in Edinburgh, another at the V&A and a third, purchased by Catherine The Great, is in St. Petersburg.
7/8 in x 1 1/16 in