From about the mid-18th century, when plaster casts of antique sculpture became more widely available, antique gems also began to be copied in plaster and other materials. Collections were assembled in boxes which could be transported. The special boxes seen below were made by the Dresden antiquary P.D. Lippert in the 1770s. They are large leather-bound volumes with drawers of impressions arranged by subject, historical, as here below, and mythological.

Photo of Lippert's Dactyliotheca
  • P. D. Lippert's Dactyliotheca of gem impressions in Oxford.
    Photo. Beazley Archive I P Hiley