- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 18K gold tested .
- Size: just under 2 2/8" by 1 7/8"
- Date and Origin: Circa 1870 Italy, frame is surely English.
- Conditions: Noses are a bit worn, only visible with a loupe, not noticeable by naked eye, mentioned for accuracy, otherwise Mint.
This is a Museum quality cameo depicting Aurora with the Genius of Light, the subject is after a bas relief of Bertel Thorwaldsen executed in 1815 and now in Thorwaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. The carving is perfect in every details, a three dimensional one. Everything is so perfectly rendered that I'm amazed looking at it. Look how the carver used the shell to evidence the movement of the clothes, they seems just real. The delicacy of this piece is truly amazing. The shell is perfect, no lines at all. The frame too is simple and elegant just the right one for this piece. This subject really jumps out from the shell, everything is so realistic. The pictures don't give justice to this piece, the carving is so white that reflects the light. Seen in person it truly amazing. The carving is crisp and perfect. Just another things regarding the the color of the shell and of the carving, when the shell has a so dark brown background the carving results in a strong white. This dark color is the best quality of Sardonyx shells, today very hard to find. So the more the carving is white the more the shell quality is high. This is one of most beautiful cameos I have ever seen, the pictures speak by themselves. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
Aurora is the Latin word for dawn, the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology and Latin poetry. Aurora is comparable to the Greek goddess Eos, though Aurora did not bring with her any resonance of a greater archaic goddess. In ancient Roman mythology Aurora, goddess of the dawn, renews herself every morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun, spreading flowers on the earth, companied by Lucifer (Latin word who means light bearer) the torchbearer.