- Material: Sardonyx shell, 15k gold tested.
- Size: 2 5/8" by 2 1/8" only cameo is 2 2/8" by 1 6/8".
- Date and origin: Circa 1860 Italy.
- Conditions: Pristine, a couple of slight natural shell lines, not visible by naked eye, visible when cameo is backlit.
Museum Quality and huge cameo depicting Apollo on his Chariot which is also called the Chariot of the Sun. The carving is so deep carved that it results to be three-dimensional. Unfortunately all the beauty of this piece is not so well shown through the pictures but I can really say that seen in person this cameo is spectacular. The skill of the carver can be easily seen as he used the different shades of colors of the shell to give life to this cameo. Look at the horses, their strong muscles are perfectly shown just like they were really galloping. It seems to me that they could come out of the cameo and continue their race out of it. The body of Apollo is so well made and even if it can't be well seen through the pictures, I can see his perfect chest and all the muscles of his body stretched in the effort to drive the chariot. This subject is truly amazing and every detail is realistic. The chariot is also decorated with many figures. This one is a beautiful cameo. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
Without doubt, after Zeus, Apollo is the most important God of the Greek mythology. Latona, seduced by Zeus, assisted by the goddess Iris, gave birth to two twins, Apollo and Artemis. Apollo represents the self-control, the self-knowledge and the sense of the measure, in his temple to Delphi it was written there "know yourself." He also deals with the expiations, purifications, recoveries (and as such he has called "Alexikakos" that means "the one who sends away the evils"). Apollo is also a prophetic God, God of the fair and of the purity and also of the music, in fact he is represented with the Lyre and as head of the Muses that he drove and protected. He was identified also as Helios and he was imagined driving a cart thrown by four horses with which it conducted the sun through the sky. Represented as a very beautiful and naked youth, the Romans revered him as protector of the health and as God of the divination, in his honour they celebrated the games called "Ludi Apollinares." (Apollo's Games) .Apollo is the solar divinity par excellence. God of all the beautiful things, music, art, poetry.