Day and Night
  • Material : Sardonyx Shell, 15K gold tested.
  • Size: 3" by 2 3/8".
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1840/1850 Italy, frame could be English.
  • Conditions: Excellent. A stress line which can be felt under a finger nail only on the back, it does not affect the front of the cameo. Another line, which seems to be a light scratch, close to the mentioned stress line.
Museum Quality Cameo depicting the Allegory of the Day and Night. Eos is the Goddess of the Day (and Dawn) and her sister  Selene the Goddess of the Night (and Moon) , portrayed together to symbolize the Allegory of the Day and Night. All the other symbols are shown, the moon and the star, the poppies on the veil of Selene, the putto spreading flowers and the owl. Note that the putto has a veil which covers his male attributes because in the Victorian era was considered a scandal to show any private part of the body. A very popular Victorian subject in a real museum quality cameos. This is an incredible work of art, very detailed cameo, carved by an artist. The frame is gorgeous too 15 K gold. Rarest cameo very desirable collectors' piece.
A bit of history:
Eos is a figure of Greek mythology. She is the Goddess of the Dawn. She is a beautiful and charitable Goddess. She is the daughter of Hyperion. Hyperion is also the father of Helios (the sun) and of Selene (the moon )Hyperion's name means "The one who precedes the Sun", and probably is related to his role like Helios' or Eos' father, the faint light that precedes the rising of the day. Eos has several sons, between them there is Memnone, killed from Achilles during the siege of Troy. From that day the Goddess of the Dawn inconsolably cries the loss of her son every morning and her tears form the dew. Homer calls her the "Goddess with the rosy fingers" for the effect that can be seen in the sky at dawn. Selene, Goddess of the Moon, daughter of Hyperion. her assignment is to bring the moonlight to the humans driving a cart drawn from oxen or from horses that runs after the solar one, in many representations. Generally described like a beautiful woman with pale face that wears long, flowing, white or silver robe and that has on her head a waxing moon and a torch in her hand. In the Greek-Roman mythology tradition the Moon, thanks to the mutability of its aspect that makes it unique between the stars, has been associated to three divinity and tied to three its "events". Full moon, New moon and Waxing moon. Life metaphor (full moon), death (new moon) rebirth (waxing moon). Since time immemorial these three lunar figures have represented the cycle of  life involving apparently heterogeneous phenomena  like the birth, the death, the fertility, the femininity, the immortality. Selene, (from Selas - Greek) means splendour.