- Material:Sardonyx Shell, gold hallmarked on the pin with the number 24 and the letter M, it could mean 24k.
- Size: 2 3/8" by 2", cameo itself is 2" by 1 5/8"
- Date and Origin: 1878 Italy, signed by the artist Filippo Tignani.
- Conditions: a few natural slightest internal lines, barely visible when cameo is backlit, not visible when cameo is seen from the front, a slightest bent on the left side of frame . Mentioned for accuracy, otherwise immaculate
More than Museum Quality cameo depicting Goddess Athena signed by one of the master carvers of the past Filippo Tignani. Cameo is scratch signed on the back and reads "1878 F.ppo Tignani Engraver Roma Via Condotti 91". We have not too much news about the carver. He was a contemporary of Saulinis and had his shop in Rome just close to the one of them.
The carving on this cameo is oustandingly perfect and very crisp, the cut lines are very clean and sharp. Her face is of high beauty and shows nobility. This cameo really catches your eyes because of its many perfect details, like the face of Zeus on her helmet, her wonderful long hair, her shield magnificently engraved with the face of God Pan (he could appear as Bacchus but his head is horned and Pan is a horned God not Bacchus) and this is a very unusual detail as usually Athena's shield bears the image of an owl or of the gorgon Medusa. Her face is pretty and shows the grace of a woman and the force of a warrior. Look also at the face of God Pan, you can see that even his teeth are carved and he also shows a goat beard. I'm speechless looking at this cameo which clearly is a true work of art and a rarest one. The frame is another work of art, gold filigree surround and applied beadwork. A wonderful piece, absolutely to not to miss.
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.