Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 803 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHARLES WILLIAM KING (1818-1888), English writer on ancient gems, was born at Newport (Mon.) on the 5th of September 1818. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1836; graduated in 184o, and obtained a fellowship in 1842; he was senior fellow at the time of his death in London on the 25th of March 1888. He took holy orders, but never held any cure. He spent much time in Italy, where he laid the foundation of his collection of gems, which, increased by subsequent purchases in London, was sold by him in consequence of his failing eyesight and was presented in 1881 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. King was recognized universally as one of the greatest authorities in this department of art. His chief works on the subject are: Antique Gems, their Origin, Uses and Value (186o), a complete and exhaustive treatise; The Gnostics and their Remains (2nd ed. by J. Jacobs, 1887, which led to an animated correspondence in the Athenaeum); The Natural History of Precious Stones and Gems and of the Precious Metals (1865); The Handbook of Engraved Gems (2nd ed., 1885); Early Christian Numismatics (1873). King was thoroughly familiar with the works of Greek and Latin authors, especially Pausanias and the elder Pliny, which bore upon the subject in which he was most interested; but he had little taste for the minutiae of verbal criticism. In 1869 he brought out an edition of Horace, illustrated from antique gems; he also translated Plutarch's Moralist (1882) and the theosophical works of the Emperor Julian (1888) for Bohn's Classical Library.
End of Article: CHARLES WILLIAM KING (1818-1888)
CLARENCE KING (1842–1901)

Additional information and Comments

I don't have a comment I have a question. Are there any records showing Charles William King known as a painter/artist. I found a "beautiful" painting signed by C W King. The painting has the Book of Wisdom, reading glasses, Free Mason triangle and a candlestick....all of the item are on a table. The frame dates back to 1850's. If you can direct me to the proper sources I would truly appreciate it. Thanks, Linda
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