Material: Sardonyx Shell, 9k Gold tested.
Size: 2 7/8" by 2 1/2" only cameo is 2 3/8" by 2"
Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy. Original fitted case. T. Johnson 9 Leicester Square London
Conditions: Pristine, a couple of slightest natural shell lines on the top, not visible by naked eye, visible when cameo is backlit.
Highest Museum Quality cameo depicting a rarest subject never seen before now, Hera on her Chariot pulled by Peacocks. This subject is outstanding full of details more than finely carved. Hera is shown in all her beauty and regality, she wears as crown the "Polos", a typical head gear of a cylindrical shape worn by the most important Mother Goddesses of several antique cultures. She sits on her chariot wonderfully carved, look at the wheel and at how it is decorated. Her dress is ethereal and moves like there was a sweet wind blowing. Her face is pretty and finely carved. She's holding a scepter symbol of her regality. Look then at her open hand, you can perfectly see the muscles, just like a real hand. The cameo is very high relieved, a three-dimensional carving. The two peacocks, which are one of the symbols of Hera, are more than wonderfully carved, look at the long feathers of their tails, they are true! Even the clouds, you can see them very well in some angled pictures, are perfectly carved and appear just soft and without weight. All in this cameo is detailed and finely carved, a rarest cameo which still lays in its original fitted case which is in wonderful condition. The frame of this piece is quite original and unusual, enough simple but just right for the subject which is already rich and intricate. Another rare cameo of highest quality to not to be missed.
A Bit of History:
In Greek mythology Era or Hera (Juno for the Romans) was the wife of Zeus, and so the Queen of Gods. Faithful and jealous wife. She was the Goddess of the wedding and protector of the married women and of the birth and her constant fight against the infidelity of Zeus gave origin to the recurring theme of the "Hera's jealousy". Hera gave birth to Ares (God of War), Hephaestus (God of Fire), Hebe (Goddess of Youth) and Eileithyia (Goddess of the birth). Hera, jealous wife, often persecuted lovers and sons of Zeus. She never forgot an offence and was well known per her revengeful nature. Being angry with the Trojan prince Paris who preferred Aphrodite (Venus), Goddess of Love, to her, in a beauty contest, Hera helped the Greeks in the War of Troy and was satisfied only when the city was finally destroyed. The corresponding figure in Roman mythology was Juno. Her sacred symbols were the cow and the peacock. Hera was portrayed as a solemn and majestic figure, often sat on a throne while wears as crown the "Polos", a typical head gear of a cylindrical shape worn by the most important Mother Goddesses of several antique cultures. She held a pomegranate in her hand, symbol of fertility and death. The temples dedicated to her date back to 7th century B.C. and they were the earliest historical examples of Monumental Greek Temples, the "Heraion" in the island of Samo and the "Heraion" of Argo.