The Ages of Love by Saulini
 
 
  • Material: Sardonyx Shell, 14k gold marked, only the clasp is marked 10k, I think it could be a replacement but there are not traces of soldering, it was probably soldered using gold.
  • Size:  4 1/2" by 1 5/8".
  • Date and Origin: Italy circa 1840, frame is probably English.
  • Conditions: a few invisible natural internal lines, between the third and the fourth figure, starting from the left. They can't be seen by naked eye. The lines you can see when the cameo is backlit are the results of some scratches on the back. A few slight and natural lines on the border where the figures stand on. Mentioned for accuracy, otherwise mint.
Highest museum quality cameo signed Saulini depicting a whole scene from a bas relief of Thorvaldsen "The ages of love" made in 1824 and now at the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. I have never seen the whole bas relief reproduced on a cameo, I have seen the final group and the first one but carved separately, not signed and not of this high level. This cameo was surely made to become a tiara because of his shape, it has been mounted as a brooch I think in early 1900's. I'm amazed looking at all the details of this work of art, looking at the sculpture and then at the cameo I can see that they are just the same, each smallest detail of the sculpture has been faithfully made on the cameo. Have you ever seen anything like this? Really a piece who can stay in any Museum. It is simply incredible, the refinement and the delicacy of this cameo are incomparable. This is a real treasure that I have had the fortune to find. The scene is after an antique fresco from Roman era. Thorvaldsen shows how love (or a certain aspects of love) is first adored, then cherished, later treated with indifference, and finally lost, as age advances. In this relief we see a winged Psyche distributing small angelic figures known as cupids, symbolising love. Psyche gives them to women and men, young and old. There is the young woman kneeling in adoration of her cupid. There is the woman who embraces and kisses her cupid and the woman who has lost interest in hers. There is the man who is too tired to take an interest in his cupid, and there is the old man who stretches out for his without being able to reach it. Pictures really don't give any justice to this work of art, much better seen in person. A real rarest cameo to collect and treasure for ever.