- Material: Lava stone, 9k gold tested, pin is not gold.
- Size: 2 3/8" by 2" - cameo iself is 2 1/8" by 1 6/8".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy.
- Conditions: Perfect.
This is a Museum Quality rarest cameo carved on lava stone depicting two Bacchantes in profile. I have never seen this subject before now. The two Bacchantes are amazingly carved, each detail is perfect. They both are pretty and they are gently smiling. Their heads adorned by vine leaves superbly carved and both wear a ribbon on their hair. Both have straight lovely Greek noses. Their facial features are really lovely and the first one shows a sensual nude shoulder. The proportions are perfect. This cameo is three-dimensional and the two figures jump out from the background. The frame is simple but lovely. This cameo is a real work of art and hard to find in these fantastic conditions. A real Museum Quality and rare piece to not to be missed.
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.