Rarest Cameo of Young Jesus Praying
 
 
  • Material : Sardonyx Shell, 18k gold tested.
  • Size: 2 1/8" by 1 7/8" only cameo is 2" by 1 6/8".
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy.
  • Conditions: Excellent. A couple of slight natural lines, not visible from the front or the back even not with a loupe, only barely visible when cameo is backlit.  
A fantastic Museum Quality cameo depicting a rarest subject, a young Jesus who is praying kneeling. This cameo is wonderful, all the details are superbly made. The boy Jesus is kneeling and praying and the light of God, His father, lights him coming down from the clouds. His sweetest  face is lifted up looking at the light in the clouds and face shows the serenity and the peace of a one who gets the benefit of the prayer.  The sunrays coming down from the clouds just give the right religiosity and spirituality to this scene. The hair of the boy Jesus are curly and perfectly carved, his tunic is rich of folds wonderfully made, also the tree he is under is superbly made. I have never seen this subject before now.  The carving is three-dimensional and is high relieved from the background, as you can see from the pictures. This is an absolute beauty, a perfect cameo carved with so much skill by a true artist. A stunning and heavy gold frame complete this piece which is another real artwork. Everything in this cameo is superbly and masterly carved, surely the work of a great artist.  A fabulous cameo to not to be missed.
 
A bit of history:
Jesus of Nazareth (7 - 2 BC/BCE—26–36 AD/CE) also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity and is revered by most Christian churches as the Son of God and the incarnation of God. The principal sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels. The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke place Jesus' birth under the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC/BCE, although the Gospel of Luke also describes the birth as taking place during the first census of the Roman provinces of Syria and Judea in 6 AD/CE. We generally assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC/BCE. Due to a fourth century arrangement to offset the pagan Roman Saturnalia festival, the birth of Jesus is celebrated on December 25. Since the thirteenth century, celebration of the Christmas (Christ's Mass) has become an important Christian tradition. The common Western standard for numbering years, in which the current year is 2008, is based on an early medieval attempt to count the years from Jesus' birth. Jesus' ministry followed that of John the Baptist. According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea to Mary, a virgin, by a miracle of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Luke gives an account of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her that she was chosen to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26–38). According to Luke, an order of Caesar Augustus had forced Mary and Joseph to leave their homes in Nazareth and come to the home of Joseph's ancestors, the house of David, for the Census of Quirinius. After Jesus' birth, the couple was forced to use a manger in place of a crib because of a shortage of accommodation (Luke 2:1–7). According to Luke, an angel announced Jesus' birth to shepherds who left their flocks to see the newborn child and who subsequently publicized what they had witnessed throughout the area . Matthew tells of the Wise Men or Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus after following a star which they believed was a sign that the King of the Jews had been born (Matthew 2:1–12). Jesus' childhood home is identified as the town of Nazareth in Galilee. Except for a journey to Egypt by his family in his infancy to escape Herod's Massacre of the Innocents and a short trip to Tyre and Sidon ( in what is now Lebanon), the Gospels place all other events in Jesus' life in ancient Israel. According to Matthew, the family remained in Egypt until Herod's death, whereupon they returned to Nazareth to avoid living under the authority of Herod's son and successor Archelaus (Matthew 2:19–23). The Gospels name Pontius Pilate as the Roman prefect who had Jesus crucified, and Pilate was prefect of Judea between 26 and 36 AD/CE. According to Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus was executed after Passover (a Jewish holiday occurring in northern spring) but according to John he was executed earlier in the day of preparation for the Passover. Most Christians commemorate Jesus' crucifixion on  Good Friday and celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday.  Christian views of Jesus center on the belief that Jesus is divine, is the Messiah whose coming was prophesied in the Old Testament, and that he was resurrected after his crucifixion. Christians predominantly believe that Jesus is the Son of God; (generally meaning that he is God the Son, the second person in the Trinity), who came to provide salvation and reconciliation with God by his death for their sins.