- Material: Hard stone, 18 k Gold marked, Eagle's Head Hallmark on the pin.
- Size: 2 3/8" by 1 7/8", cameo itself is 2" by 1 1/2".
- Date and Origin: First quarte of 19th century, Italy.
- Conditions: Immaculate.
Highest Museum Quality cameo depicting Ariadne, the immortal wife of the wine God Dionysus, signed by Giuseppe Girometti, one of the most celebrated gem carver of the 19th century. The cameo is very large and impressive. The subject is a after a marble bust of Ariadne Roman Imperial (1st-4th century A.D.) now in the Vatican Museums in Rome. The carving on this cameo is really more than superb, A three-dimensional carving who evidences the magnificent beauty of the subject. Ariadne really jumps out from the background, the heigth of the carving is about 1/2", the stone is a two layers one, black for the background and white for the carving. She’s pretty and has curly long hair embellished with vine leaves. The frame is another work of art, elaborately worked gold on the which evidences the cameo. A piece who really would deserve to be displayed in a Museum. Another great treat for cameos collectors.
A bit of history:
Ariadne was the immortal wife of the wine-god Dionysus.
There were several versions of her story. In one, Ariadne, a daughter of King Minos of Krete (Crete), assisted Theseus in his quest to slay the Minotaur and then fled with the hero aboard his ship. When they landed on the island of Naxos Theseus abandoned her as she slept. It was then that Dionysos discovered her and made her his wife. Some say she was later slain by the goddess Artemis or else ascended to Olympos with her husband as an immortal.
According to others Ariadne's bridal with Dionysos occurred several generations before this when the god was still travelling the earth spreading his cult. During his war against Argives with a band of sea-women, Ariadne was slain or turned to stone by King Perseus. The god descended into the underworld to recover her and brought her back with him to Olympos.
In Greek vase painting Ariadne is often depicted alongside Dionysus--either feasting with the gods of Olympos or in Bacchic scenes surrounded by dancing Satyrs and Mainades. Dionysus' discovery of the sleeping Ariadne on Naxos was also a popular scene in classical art.
This one is a more than finely and amazingly carved piece, it seems just like a sculpture. Her face is more than pretty, she is really beautiful having classical facial traits, her nose is straight and long, her mouth full and sensual, her eyes well opened and expressive her curly hair amazing. This cameo is what we can define a true work of art, look at the wonderful pictures and you'll perfectly understand why. This is another stunning example of the art of carving of the past which can't be missed, the pictures speak by themselves, a must have for any collector of works of art.
A bit of History:
Engraver of gems and medalist, born in Rome in 1779, died there on November 11, 1851. He soon left the sculpture to devote himself to glyptics and incision of cones where he reached the record. There are only four statues known to him for the Foligno cathedral, while is more than copious his production of engraved stones and medals, the first, sometimes original, sometimes taken by ancient compositions or drawn from Canova or Tenerani drawings, are all of them exceptionally refined; among the most beautiful cameo with the bust of Spring at the Paris National Library; prized above all his cameos with portraits of famous men. In 1822 he became an engraver of cones at the papal mint. His medals (remarkable that of G. B. Niccolini) were no less appreciated than his gems.