Annunciation's Angel
  • Material : Sardonyx Shell
  • Size: 2 6/8" by just under 2 3/8"
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1850/1860 Italy, frame is English, 15 K gold tested.
  • Conditions: A stress line that I can feel a bit under my fingernail, another couple of slight hairlines .
Museum quality cameo depicting the Annunciation's Angel. Rare subject masterly carved, look at the pictures, you can even see his eye's pupil. His face, so sweet, is superbly rendered as his clothes and the wings, everythinf seems to be real. There is something scratched on the back, it reads "Maggio 51  Agosto 13" it is in Italian and means "May 51 August 13" it is probably a date, May 51 could mean May 1851 and maybe August 13 is the date when the work was completed or when the cameo was sold.  This is an incredible work of art,  very detailed cameo, carved by an artist.  This cameo is after a painting by Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642) who was a prominent Italian painter of high-Baroque style. There are three Annunciation paintings by Guido Reni, the first one is is exhibited at Landesmuseum, Oldenburg, together with other important works of art of the Baroque Art period.
The Bologna painter enjoyed the highest reputation during his life time and throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, until Ruskin demolished his reputation for his sentimental religiosity. Nevertheless, he remains the one of the great painters of the Counter-Reformation.
After his painting of the Annunciation (1621) for the church of San Pietro in Valle, Fano (now in the city's Pinacoteca Civica), he was commissioned by the Marchesa Alvitretti to paint this second picture on the same theme for her family chapel at the Chiesa della Caritá in Ascoli Piceno. 
Its use of bright luminous colours and formal harmony looks forward to a new classical style which Reni began to develop by the 1630s.
The angel Gabriel appears on a cloud and a shaft of bright light beams down upon the Virgin from Heaven; yet Mary remains reading at her prie-dieu, as if the scene depicted in front of her is an inner revelation. From this painting, shown below, the cameo was carved. Rarest cameo and subject very desirable collectors' piece.