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    One of the masterpieces of the Marlborough Collection, The Arundel Zodiac, a rare 16th-century astrological intaglio set in a virtuoso enameled gold pendant, will highlight Sotheby’s third Small Wonders auction online from July 9-15. The sales showcase early gems and jewels from the ancient world through to the early 19th century. The Arundel Zodiac was once in two of the greatest gem collections: the Arundel and Marlborough collections. Like most of the Arundel gems, it is likely to have once been owned by the Gonzaga dukes of Mantua. It  is centered by a rare 16th-century intaglio carved with Jupiter astride an eagle, flanked by Mars and Mercury, and Neptune underneath. The composition relates to a design by Raphael engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi. The whole is encircled by a frieze with the signs of the Zodiac. Only three such Zodiac gems exist from the period, in: the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (inv. no. 3706); the Cabinet des medailles, formerly the French royal collection; and the present Arundel Zodiac which is estimated at £120,000-£180,000.

    Italian, circa 1540 | The Arundel Zodiac. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £559,500

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