- Material: Sardonyx Shell, wood and plaster for the frames.
- Size: Flora just over 1 29/32" by 1 1/2", Bacchante 1 26/32" by 1 14/32".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy.
- Conditions: Cameos are in mint conditions, wood frames aren't, they would need of a restoration and I'll see if it can be done.
Museum Quality pair of cameos depicting Goddess Flora and a Bacchante, surely from the same hand. Both cameos have their own golden wood frames, the elaborately and intricately work on the top of the frames is made of golden plaster. Original glasses are still glued in the frames. You can see the original cameos imprint on the wood piece, covered with paper, where they laid for over a century. On one of the wood pieces there is still the writing "Flora" written in ink. These two cameo are of surpassing beauty, both facial features are simply stunning. Goddess Flora wears a crown of roses and callas wonderfully carved, look at the roses petals, each one is masterly made. Her curly hair are partially tied leaving that some curly locks lean on her shoulder. Everything is very realistic and more than finely carved. Have then a look at her face, her pensive expression is amazing, her facial traits are delicate and feminine, she is more than pretty. I think that this cameo is pure beauty and grace. The Bacchante is another spectacular cameo very finely carved, even her is very pretty, feminine and graceful. Look at how the carver used the shell to give some color to her tunic and to some of the grapes and to her hair, look then at how the wine leaves and grapes are carved, they seem just real. The beauty of her face, her eyes' expression and her full and sensual mouth, the perfection of her nose, everything in this cameo is superbly and masterly carved, surely the work of a great artist. These two cameo could come from the Saulini studio because the style of the carving just recalls the Saulini one like even the high carving quality of these ones. On the back of both cameos there is still the original firm sticker. The skill of the carver can be clearly seen on these cameos which are simply outstanding and absolutely perfect, not to be missed. The pictures really don’t show well the true beauty of this cameo. These ones are two of the most wonderful Goddess Flora and Bacchante that I have ever handled. A very desirable collectors pieces.
A bit of History:
In Roman mythology, Flora was the goddess of flowers and the season of spring. She was a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, as there were several more important fertility goddesses, but her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the Floralia
, was held in April or early May and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. Her Greek equivalent was Chloris. Flora was married to Favonius, the wind god.
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.