- Material: Sardonyx shell, 15k Gold tested.
- Size:3 2/8" by 2 6/8", cameo itself is 2 6/8" by 2 2/8".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy.
- Conditions: Immaculate.
Museum quality large cameo depicting a rarest subject never seen before now, I think it could be the Genius of Peace. Similar weaponry can be seen in the painting titled "Peace halting the horses of Mars" by Benigne Gagneraux, look at the painting below. However I have never seen Peace so depicted and in this cameo he's shown in all of his beauty and strength, he's holding a torch as symbol of a new day without war. The shield, the arrows and bow, the armour, the spears, the fasces, the sword, not used are all laying on a cloud and from there Peace stands in all his strength and victorious on the war. The torch he's holding is either symbol of the light and of the life, a reversed torch is instead symbol of darkness and death. Look at how his body is carved, all the muscles of his chest are visible, his face is fierce while he leads the world to the peace. A wonderful and rarest piece showing an unusual rare subject. The frame is another beauty, filigree gold elaborately worked to form flowers, leaves and scrolls. This is a superb piece to not to miss.
A bit of history:
Genii (Genius is singular) are minor deities of the Roman mythology, the genius is the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place, or thing. Much like a guardian angel the genius would follow each man from the hour of his birth until the day he died. For women, it was the Juno
spirit that would accompany each of them. Each individual place had a genius (genius loci)
and so did powerful objects, such as volcanoes. The concept extended to some specifics: the genius of the theatre, of vineyards, and of festivals, which made performances successful, grapes grow, and celebrations succeed, respectively. It was extremely important in the Roman mind to propitiate the appropriate genii for the major undertakings and events of their lives. Genii are represented with wings and often holding symbolic objects. The torch held by the genius is a common emblem of both enlightenment and hope. Thus the Statue of Liberty, actually "Liberty Enlightening of the World", lifts her torch. Crossed reversed torches were signs of mourning that appear on Greek and Roman funerary monuments—a torch pointed downwards symbolizes death, while a torch held up symbolizes life, truth and the regenerative power of flame. The torch is also a symbol used by political parties, for instance by both Labour (from 1918 to 1980) and the Conservatives (from 1983 to 2006) in the UK, and the Malta Labour Party.