Medusa
 
 
  • Material : Sardonyx Shell - 15 kt gold tested.
  • Size: 1 22/32" by 1 14/32"
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy, frame could be English.
  • Conditions: A trace of soldering on the safety clasp, otherwise mint.
 
This is a museum quality cameo of a Medusa. Circa 1860. Look at the expression of her face, so sad, her mouth a bit open, this is a real artwork. The frame is in the etruscan revival style This is an incredible work of art,  very detailed cameo, carved by an artist. Rarest cameo and subject very desirable collectors' piece.
A bit of history:
Medusa is a  character of Greek's mythology, she was one of three Gorgons, the only one that was mortal. Poseidon fell in love with Medusa and one night he took her in a temple consecrated to Athena to consummate their love. Athena offended, transformed Medusa's hair into snakes and again everyone that had looked Medusa's eyes would have been petrified. Medusa was killed by Perseus who cut her head looking at her through a bright shield received from Athena. From Medusa's body came out Pegasus, the mythic winged horse, and Crisaore generated with the union with Poseidon. For this reason Medusa's head was given by Perseus to Athena who put it in the center of her aegis. Aegis used by Athena, is a fringed armour or a shield with Medusa's head in the center.