Andromache
 
 
  • Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15K gold tested.
  • Size: 2 3/4" by 2 3/8".
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy.
  • Conditions: Mint.
Museum Quality and huge cameo depicting probably Andromache who cries for the death of her husband Hector. The other figures can be Hecuba, Hector's mother, Cassandra, Hector's sister and the last one could be a confident of the three Trojan women. Look at the sadness of their faces. How skill was the carver to make them really look suffering for a great loss. Look at the delicacy with which the woman (Hecuba?) near to Andromache is trying to console her. Those women seem alive. 
This one is, with no doubt, one of the most beautiful and large cameo I have ever handled, the pictures speak by themselves. The frame is spectacular too, Etruscan revival, with elaborate gold working.This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rarest and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
Andromache was the daughter of Eetion (king of Thebes). Her brothers and her father were killed by Achilles in the Trojan War, as was her husband Hector (whose body Achilles desecrated) and her son Astyanax (who was only a tiny baby). Andromache was made a slave of Achilles' son (Neoptolemus). After she had his kid, and he later died, she married Heleneus (one of King Priam of Troy's few surviving kids) and they became the rulers of the Greek region of Epirus. Of course, that doesn't really get to the character of the woman. Personality wise, she was amazing. Very much an archetype of womanhood, wifehood, etc. in the Iliad.
Please note that some pictures are darker than others. Some cameo subjects are very hard to take pictures of and to show all the details so some pictures were taken using the natural sun light and then they were made darker to show all the details and the relief of the carving. For the real shell color please refer to the lighter ones.