Aurora and Nyx
  • Material: Cornelian Shell.
  • Sizes: both cameos are just over 2 2/8" by 1 7/8”.
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1840 Italy.  Original fitted case.
  • Conditions: Day is mint. Nyx has some natural lines in the shell visible when cameo is backlit, the ones at the bottom  are barely visible from the front, they are not distracting at all.
Highest Museum Quality cameos set depicting the Day and the Night, these cameos are after two marble works of Thorvaldsen made in 1815 and now in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. These two cameos are of a beauty beyond compare. Still in their original fitted box. It is not easy to find two artworks like these in so excellent condition. Shells are in pristine condition aa cameos have always been stored in their case, shell surfaces are still so polished that they really did not need of any oil on it. Exceptional original conditions. All the grace and the beauty are in these two cameos. Every smallest detail is masterly and magnificently carved. I had once another stunning Nyx but I have to honestly say that this one is much better carved. Everything in these two cameos is poetry and beauty. Believe me I have never seen a so wonderful carved cameos of Aurora and Night. Another thing which makes these two pieces rare is that they are a set. I have seen of course these two subjects before but never as a set.  I never thought that I could find one along with its contrary so finely and exceptionally carved.  I'm really speechless looking at them both, they are simply fantastic. A must have set for any collector and cameos lovers.
A bit of history:
In Greek mythology, Nyx , (Nox in Roman translation) was the primordial goddess of the night. A shadowy figure, Night stood at or near the beginning of creation, and was the mother of personified such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death). Her appearances in mythology are sparse, but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power. Aurora is the Latin word for dawn, the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology and Latin poetry. Aurora is comparable to the Greek goddess Eos, though Aurora did not bring with her any resonance of a greater archaic goddess. In ancient Roman mythology Aurora, goddess of the dawn, renews herself every morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun, spreading flowers on the earth, companied by Lucifer (Latin word who means light bearer) the torchbearer.