- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15k gold tested.
- Size: 2" by 1 6/8" only cameo is 1 1/2" by 1 2/8".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy, frame is English. Original fitted case.
- Conditions: Immaculate.
Excellent Quality cameo depicting a Bacchante, very fine carving, look at the wine leaves and the panther pelt, this is a very detailed and rich cameo. The pictures really don't give any justice to this lovely piece, it resulted very difficult to be photographed, sometime happens. I'll try once again to take other pictures and perhaps I'll be finally able to show you this cameo in all of its beauty. The original case is in very fine conditions for its age. The Bacchante face is very pretty and has a happy expression, even the eye pupil is perfectly carved. The frame is spectacular, very ornate and finely chiseled with flowers and leaves. Another artwork and wonderful piece. A very desirable collectors piece.
A bit of History:
In Greek mythology, maenads (Bacchantes
) were the female followers of Dionysus, the most significant members of the Thiasus, the retinue of Dionysus. The maenads were also known as Bacchae or Bacchantes in Roman mythology, after the penchant of the equivalent Roman god, Bacchus, to wear a fox-skin. Their name literally translates as "raving ones". Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by him into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and drunken intoxication. In this state, they would lose all self-control, begin shouting excitedly, engage in uncontrolled sexual behavior, and ritualistically hunt down and tear animals (and sometimes men and children) to pieces, devouring the raw flesh. During these rites, the maenads would dress in fawn skins and carry a thyrsus, a long stick wrapped in ivy or vine leaves and tipped by a cluster of leaves; they would weave ivy-wreaths and fruiting vines around their heads, and often handle or wear snakes.