The diplomat and writer on Persia, Sir Denis Wright developed his interest in intagli while serving in Trebizond in 1941. His collection of 59 items, catalogued in depth here for the first time, is of particular importance and interest as the provenance of about 40 of the engraved gems is known: more than 30 were acquired in Turkey and 8 come from Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. There are also several unusual gems among those without a provenance. The Turkish material includes the earliest gem inthe collection, a rare 5th century BC Phoenician green jasper scarab from the Black Sea area. The catalogue features indices on materials, provenances, subjects, and inscriptions.
Sheila E. Hoey Middleton is the author of Engraved Gems from Dalmatia, from the Collections of Sir John Gardner Wilkinson and Sir Arthur Evans in Harrow School, at Oxford and elsewhere (OUCA: 1991); Seals, Finger Rings, Engraved Gems and Amulets in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter (Exeter City Museums: 1998) and Intaglios, Cameos, Rings and Related Objects from Burma and Java: The White Collection and a further small private collection BAR Int. Ser. 1405 (BAR Publishing). Sheila is also the author of articles on engraved gems and other subjects in journals, including The Third Buddha in South Asian Studies 18 (BASAS, Routledge, 2002) Journal of the Society for South Asian Studies, The British Academy, London; A Gold Ring from Afghanistan Set with a Garnet Intaglio in South Asian Studies, vol.31, No.1 (BASAS, Routledge , 2015) pp.27-37 and The Quest for the Third Buddha; A Sequel in South Asian Studies, vol.26, No.2 (BASAS, Routledge, 2010). Sheila was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2000.