Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15k gold tested. Maker's mark.
Size: 1 7/8" by 1 5/8" only cameo is 1 3/8" by 1 1/8"
Date and Origin: Circa 1856 Italy.
Conditions: A slight internal shell line close to the bottom of Cupid's bow, visible when cameo is backlit, mentioned for accuracy, otherwise mint. Cameo is scratch signed on the back and dated 1856.
Museum Quality cameo depicting Cupid pensive sitting on a rock. This cameo is just a sculpture as the subject really jumps out from the background. This a very rare subject. His little puffy body is magnificently made. Bow and arrows at his left and right sides, they are his symbols. His finger put on a side of his mouth just like he was thinking at how to do something or what to do, perhaps to shoot an arrow to make someone fall in love. His expression is playful and sly and he's smiling. A real work of art. The shell is so polished and brilliant, hard to believe if you think that this cameo is almost 160 years old. The frame is another work of art, wonderfully worked with scrolls and very heavy. Another piece to not to miss.
A bit of History:
Eros in Greek mythology, was the primordial god of sexual love and beauty. He was also worshipped as a fertility deity. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"), also known as Amor ("love"). In some myths, he was the son of the deities Aphrodite (Venus) and Ares (Mars). He was the one lighted the flame of love in the hearts of the gods and men, armed either with a bow and arrows or else a flaming torch. He was also the object of cult. Eros was often portrayed as a child, the disobedient, but fiercely loyal, son of Aphrodite.In ancient vase painting Eros is depicted as either a handsome youth or as a child. His attributes were varied: from the usual bow and arrows, to the gifts of a lover--a hare, a sash, or a flower. Sculptors preferred the image of the bow-armed boy, whereas mosaic artists favoured the figure of a winged putto (plump baby).