- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 9k gold marked on pin and C clasp.
- Size: 1 5/8" by 1 3/8 " only cameo is 1 2/8 " by 1".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy, signed on the back, indistinct signature, some numbers also scratched on the back.
- Conditions: Excellent, a few very slight natural internal lines, NO STRESS, only visible when cameo is backlit, not visible from the front or the back when looking at it by naked eye.
Museum Quality cameo depicting Hera, the Queen of Gods. Here she's portrayed in profile. She's wearing her crown called "Polos" and worn by the most important Mother Goddesses of several antique cultures. Probably this subject is after an ancient Greek coin. This subject really jumps out from the base. the carving is crisp and clean, perfectly cut. Her beautiful face has something of regal. Look at her perfect nose, her round chin, her sensual mouth. You can see how her face is just like a true one, the carving is not flat and just gives the idea of a real woman's face. Her eye looks right in front of her, her look is severe and majestic. A very detailed and stunning cameo, a real work of art, a very rare piece from the Victorian era. The pictures speak by themselves about the beauty of this piece. The frame is another work of art, gold worked in the very popular Etruscan revival style. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
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.