- Material:Sardonyx Shell, gold
- Size: 2 3/8" by 2", cameo itself is 2" by 1 5/8"
- Date and Origin: 1860 circa Italy. Original fitted case.
- Conditions: a few natural slightest internal lines, barely visible when cameo is backlit, not visible when cameo is seen from the front. Mentioned for accuracy, otherwise immaculate
Museum Quality cameo depicting Goddess Athena in all of her splendor. The carving on this cameo is oustandingly perfect and very crisp, the cut lines are very clean and sharp. Her face is pretty and has a perfect beauty, fierce but very feminine. This cameo really catches your eyes because of its many perfect details, like the face of Zeus on her helmet, and the owl, one of her symbols. Then her wonderful long hair, her armour superbly carved with the face of the image of the gorgon Medusa. I'm speechless looking at this cameo which clearly is a true work of art and a rarest one. The frame is another work of art, gold filigree surround and applied flowers and leaves. A wonderful piece, absolutely to not to miss.
A bit of history
In the Greek mythology Athena, daughter of Zeus, was the goddess of Wisdom, of the Weaving, of the Arts, and, presumably, of the noblest sides of the War, while the violence and the cruelty were part of the dominion of Ares. The sacred symbols were the owl and the olive. She is almost always represented with a helmet or a shield and with the Aegis (a short armour with fringes) with in the center the head of Medusa given by Perseus to Athena in sign of thanks for the help had when he faced the Medusa. Athena never had an husband or lover and for this she was known like Athena Parthenos (the Virgin Athena), from which the name of the most famous temple dedicated to her, the Parthenon on Athen's Acropolis.