- Material: Sardonyx Shell.
- Size: Length of the semi circle 8 2/8” , height at the highest point 2 1/8”.
- Date and Origin: Circa 1840 Italy. Signed on the back by the artist G. Stella.
- Conditions: Mint. The few signs which can be seen on the bottom edge are just the signs of the burin when the tiara was carved, a few natural shell lines. Mentioned for accuracy.
More than Museum quality cameo tiara depicting an intricate scene showing five cherubs (or putti) working and playing. The beauty of this rarest piece leaves me speechless as for the gorgeous scene as for the highest quality of the carving itself. Many scrolls and leaves complete the elaborate scene. This tiara was never mounted as there is not any sign of a previous mounting on it, it probably laid in a cabinet since it was purchased. There are three cherubs, in the center of the tiara, which are carrying a stunning and large garland of flowers, you have to note the details of each tiny flower and leaves, it is something of incredible. On both sides of the tiara there are two other cherubs working, one is sculpting a head, probably the Apollo Belvedere one, close to him there is a little table and a oil lamp on it and at his feet you can see a compasses and another chisel. The other cherub is smoothing a tablet before he starts to paint on it, you can see that there is a palette and brushes closes to him and he’s looking at that sphinx in front of him to use it like a model. All the details in this stunning large cameo are more than superbly made. The scene is rich and full of objects, flowers, leaves, clouds, scrolls, the shell is almost completely carved. The five cherubs seem just alive, look at their curly hair, at their round bodies, just like the ones of little babies, look also at their lovely faces, at their minuscule perfect feet. I really have no words to describe the pure beauty of this cameo tiara, the pictures really speak by themselves. The tiara is signed G. Stella and even if I did not find any news on him, he surely was a descendant of a family of carvers, the Stella family, who was active in the work of carving and engraving, on several materials, since 1600’s, in France. About the carver of this piece I can't know where he worked, in France or Italy, considering that the surname "Stella" is Italian. This piece is a true beauty, a real artwork. This is another masterly carved cameo for your collection. A more than desirable highest Museum Quality piece.