Zeus the King of Gods
  • Material: Cornelian Shell, 18k gold tested
  • Size: 2 2/8" by 1 6/8" only cameo is 2" by 1 6/8"
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy, frame could be English, Original fitted case.
  • Conditions: A stress line, barely visible from the front, visible when cameo is backlit. The line can be felt under the fingernail from the front, it is approx. 4/8", the line can be felt under fingernail from the back only at its beginning. No traces of soldering on the back, lighter color shell areas are natural.  A couple of natural lines. A loss on the gold frame inside border at the bottom of the cameo.
Highest Museum Quality cameo depicting Zeus, the king of Gods. The beauty of this piece really does not need of many words, you can see how this cameo is just looking at the pictures. I have never seen, a Zeus of such a beauty and so handsome, believe me. The carving is of a highest quality and look at how the carver used the orange color of the shell to carve the laurel wreath that crowns the head of Zeus, isn't it amazing? His expression is so strong but even kind, a real gentleman! If you look well at his mouth you can see even his teeth. This cameo hasan exceptional force and beauty in the carving, perfect, clean and alive even in the smallest details of the facial features, then the high quality of the shell from which the master carver was able, using its colors, to carve on the white of the head the laurel wreath put on hair superbly carved as well as the curly beard. Again, if you look with attention at some pictures, unfortunately very few, you can see even the eyebrow and many slight expression wrinkles around his eye, on his cheekbone, close to his nose and on his forehead. Then there is the simply exceptional carving of his pupil which gives life to his look.  Believe me I'm really stunned by this piece, it is so wonderful and finely carved and the God just seems alive, his eye and his face are really expressive and live! A superb work of art in its original fitted case.  
A Bit of History:
Zeus  in Greek mythology is the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus, and the god of the sky and thunder. His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull and the oak. Zeus was the child of Cronus and Rhea, and the youngest of his siblings. In most traditions he was married to Hera, although at the oracle of Dodona his consort was Dione: according to the Iliad, he is the father of Aphrodite by Dione. He is known for his erotic escapades, including one pederastic relationship with Ganymede. These resulted in many famous offspring, including Athena, Apollo and Artemis, Hermes, Persephone (by Demeter), Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen, Minos, and the Muses (by Mnemosyne); by Hera he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus. His Roman counterpart was Jupiter.