Goddess Flora
 
 
  • Material: Ivory, 18 k gold tested, mother of pearl.
  • Size: 2 2/8" by just over 1 5/8"
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1880 France, probably Dieppe.
  • Conditions: A tiniest petal from a tiny flower on her flowers crown is lost. This is only barely visible through a loupe, not noticeable at all by naked eye, mentioned for accuracy, otherwise mint. (look at the third picture, you can see a flowers with three petal, the fourth is lost).
A museum quality cameo depicting Goddess Flora, this one is a true artwork. Just look how the flowers are carved, you can see them here enlarged, so imagine how they are tiny but each one has even the smallest petal masterly carved. This is the thing that caught for first my eyes when I saw it. It appeared to me that a true little wreath of flowers had been put on the head of Flora. Believe me I had to touch the cameo to convince myself that the flowers were carved. This cameo is carved from a massive piece of ivory, you can well see its thickness. There are not words to describe the beauty of this one and there is even a unusual thing about it, the cameo is backed by mother of pearl, very odd as ivory cameo were usually not backed and most of times even not framed but this one hides a secret .......under the mother of pearl plaque there is something of handwritten, I can't know if that is a small handwritten paper sheet or is there is something of written on the mother of pearl, maybe they are words of love or they can hide a secret. I'm very curious but to know what there is of hidden on the back of the cameo the frame should be removed and there is the risk to damage the cameo. So I prefer to leave it as is and keep that secret a secret as it should be. This one is one of most wonderful carved ivory cameos I have ever had the pleasure to own.
 
A bit of history:     
In Roman mythology, Flora was the goddess of flowers and the season of spring. She was a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, as there were several more important fertility goddesses, but her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the Floralia, was held in April or early May and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. Her Greek equivalent was Chloris. Flora was married to Favonius, the wind god.