- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 18K gold tested, enamel.
- Size: 2 5/8" by 2 1/8" only cameo is 2 1/8" by just over 1 5/8".
- Date and Origin: Date and Origin: Circa 1860 England. Signed James Ronca cameo cutter to Queen Victoria.
- Conditions: MINT.
Rarest and museum quality cameo depicting, I think but I can't be sure, Goddess Diana and Iphigenia. There should be so much to say about this legend. Read below about this legend . This subject is probably after a painting or a sculpture but until now I have not found the original subject. I'm still searching for it. A wonderful subject never seen before now. This is a cameo of surpassing beauty, look at the abundance of details so crisply carved. The grace who is in this cameo is incredible, look with how much love the Goddess embraces the deer (or fawn) which is too wonderfully carved. A garland of ivy is carved at the bottom of the cameo and gives to it still more grace. The carving is so well proportioned and is really amazing. The frame is stunning and rich, white enamel on gold with an intricate design. Cameo is signed by James Ronca one of the most famous carver of England, who learnt the art of the carving from his father, an Italian who lived in the Italian part of Switzerland and that moved to London. James Ronca was born there and became one of the cameos carver to the Queen Victoria. This cameo is a rarest subject masterly executed. This is one of most beautiful cameos I have ever seen, the pictures speak by themselves. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
Iphigenia was a daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra in Greek mythology. Iphigenia is sometimes called a daughter of Theseus and Helen raised by Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Artemis punished Agamemnon after he killed a (sacred) deer in a (sacred) grove and boasted he was a better hunter. On his way to Troy to participate in the Trojan War, Agamemnon's ships were suddenly motionless as Artemis stopped the wind in Aulis. A soothsayer named Calchas revelead an oracle that the only way to appease Artemis was to sacrifice Iphigenia, Agamemnon's daughter, to Artemis. According to some versions he did so, but most sources claims that Iphigenia was taken by Artemis to Tauris in Crimea to prepare others for sacrifice, and that the goddess left a deer or a goat (the god Pan transformed) in her place.