Athena
 
 
 
  • Material : Sardonyx Shell, 18 k gold tested.
  • Size: 1 6/8” by just under 1 1/2”.
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1850/1860 Italy, frame could be English.
  • Conditions: A few natural slight shell lines not visible from the front, barely visible when cameo is backlit, no stress lines at all.
Museum Quality Cameo depicting Athena here portrayed wearing her war helmet, you can notice that a woman is always a woman and doesn't renounce to wear her jewels even if she's wearing a war helmet! Her profile is proud and regal, her mouth full and beautiful. Her neck is thin and long and adorned by her long hair softly tied by a  ribbon. She really is very feminine even if she's preparing herself for a battle. This one is a cameo of a surpassing beauty, the carving is crisp and detailed, even this one is better seen in person than through the pictures. Another stunning piece in fine condition.  Rarest cameo and subject very desirable collectors' piece.
A bit of history:
In the Greek mythology Athena, daughter of Zeus, was the goddess of  Wisdom, of the Weaving, of the Arts, and, presumably, of the noblest sides of the War, while the violence and the cruelty were part of  the dominion of Ares. The sacred symbols were the owl and the olive. She is almost always represented with a helmet or a shield and with the Aegis (a short armour with fringes) with in the center the head of  Medusa given by Perseus to Athena in sign of thanks for the help had when he faced the Medusa. Athena never had an husband or lover and for this she was known like Athena Parthenos (the Virgin Athena), from which the name of the most famous temple dedicated to her, the Parthenon on Athen's Acropolis.