Material: Sardonyx Shell, (red Head shell) 9k gold tested.
Size: over 2 7/8" by 2 1/2" only cameo is 2" by 1 5/8"
Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy.
Highest Museum Quality cameo depicting a rarest subject never seen before now,carving in three strata, in a tubular gold mount with engraved gold leaf embellishment, circa 1860. The subject is Neptune, ruler of seas and oceans, vividly portrayed with a dolphin leaping through his windswept hair. The gold brooch has a metal pin. Look also at fish fin which can be seen into his beard. The cameo is unsigned, yet having handled a number of Saulini cameos over the years, I believe it to be from the Saulini workshop, Roma. Tommaso Saulini [1793-1864] and his son Luigi [1819 -1883] were amongst the foremost cameo engravers in Rome during the 19th century. The highly successful Saulini workshop produced exquisite carvings in shell and agate which were exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and International Exhibition in 1862. The Saulinis were famous for their cameos depictions of famous sculptures, and for classical and contemporary portraits. For an identical carving of Neptune in agate, signed Luigi Saulini, see the picture above, even that one depicted with the fish fin in the God's beard, and for a stylistically similar Saulini Horned Helmet carving, see the Saulini cameo depiction of Antinous above. Extremely fine carving with a sense of fluidity and movement for which Saulini cameos were renowned.