- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15k gold tested.
- Size: 2 5/8" by 2 2/8" only cameo is 2 2/8" by 1 7/8".
- Date and origin: Circa 1860 Italy.
- Conditions: Pristine, a couple of slightest natural shell lines, not visible by naked eye, barely visible when cameo is backlit.
This is a highest Museum Quality cameo depicting a rare subject, the Goddess Pomona. The pictures speak by themselves about the beauty of this cameo even if seen in person it is even more breathtaking. I have shown as first picture a black and white one just to evidence all the superb and fine beauty of the carving. The carving is three-dimensional and makes this cameo unique. Her face is so pretty and has lot of glamour. Her nose is a perfect straight Greek one and her mouth has just a shape of a heart (look at the 2nd picture), beautiful. Her eye has even the pupil carved and she's looking up (look at the 2nd picture) and seems thoughtful. Her long curly hair softly falling on her shoulders and are finely carved. Every detail in this cameo is superbly carved and their abundance is incredible, there are fruits, flowers, leaves, ears of corn, the right crown for the perfect depiction of the Goddess Pomona which is the Goddess of the abundance. There are also a couple of ivy leaves that seem transparent, this is because the carver wanted to give the impression of distance because the those leaves, compared to the face, are in the background. This cameo is very large and impressive and mounts a magnificent gold frame. This is another gorgeous and rare piece, for any collector.
A bit of history:
Pomona (Latin) was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum
, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. ("Pomme" is the French word for "apple") She was said to be a wood nymph and a part of the Numia, guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes. She scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus and Picus, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman. She and Vertumnus shared a festival held on August 13. Her high priest was called the flamen Pomonalis
. The pruning knife was her attribute. There is a grove that is sacred to her called the Pomonal, located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome.
Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees, garden, and orchards. Unlike many other Roman goddesses and gods, she does not have a Greek counterpart. She watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation. She was not actually associated with the harvest of fruits itself, but with the flourishing of the fruit trees. The pruning knife was her sacred tool. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia. A statue of Pomona is in the fountain in the little park before the Plaza Hotel in New York City.