Rarest Cameo of The Poet Ovid
  • Material: Sardonyx Shell, 18k gold tested, enamel
  • Size: 2 6/8" by 2 2/8" only cameo is 1 6/8" by 1 3/8"
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1850/1860 Italy, frame could be English.
  • Conditions: A few internal lines, not stress ones, not visible from the front, only visible when cameo is backlit. Some scratches on the back of the shell. Three insignificant, tiniest scratches on the blue enamel, two minuscule losses on the blue enamel, both scratches and losses are not noticeable. The shadow that can be seen close to the subject chin is the effect of a couple of deeper scratches on the back.
Museum quality cameo depicting a rarest and never seen before subject, the poet Ovid after The Parnassus which is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted in 1511 as the third part, after La disputa and The School of Athens, of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It is located in the Stanza della segnatura. The painting shows the mythological Mount Parnassus where Apollo resides. He is surrounded by the nine muses, nine poets from antiquity, and nine contemporary ( Raphael)  poets. See please the pictures below and the particular of that subject which I have evidenced for you. This is, as already said, a rarest subject wonderfully carved and with a stunning precious frame. It has been very hard identify this subject and once found who he was I really was amazed as this the first time that I see Ovid as a cameo subject. The carving if fantastic, the artist has just transferred the fresco's subject on the shell, copying even the expression of the poet, compare please this subject with the painted one, you'll be amazed discovering that they are just the same!  The pictures shown really don't give any justice to a cameo which is rarest as subject and frame. Amazing and rarest cameo in excellent conditions.
A bit of history:
Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BC – AD 17/18), known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: HeroidesAmores, and Ars Amatoria. He is also well known for the Metamorphoses, a mythological hexameter poem, the Fasti, about the Roman calendar, and the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, two collections of poems written in exile on the Black Sea. Ovid was also the author of several smaller pieces, the Remedia Amoris, the Medicamina Faciei Femineae, and the long curse-poem Ibis. He also authored a lost tragedy, Medea. He is considered a master of the elegiac couplet, and is traditionally ranked alongside Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonic poets of Latin literature. The scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the canonical Latin love elegists. His poetry, much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, decisively influenced European art and literature and remains as one of the most important sources of classical mythology.