The Persian Sibyl
  • Material: Sardonyx Shell.
  •  Size: 1 7/8" by just over 1 6/8".
  •  Date and Origin: Circa 1870 Italy.
  • Conditions: Mint.
Museum Quality cameo depicting the Sibilla Persica (Persian Sibyl). This cameo is after a painting of Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Cento 1591 - Bologna 1666) painted in 1647 for the Governor of Cento Carlo Rondinelli. The painting is now in the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
This is a superbly carved cameo, look how the carver caught all the details from the painting. This subject seems to jump out from the shell, everything is so realistic, this cameo seems just like a sculpture.  This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
The word Sibyl comes Latin from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess There were many Sibyls in the ancient world, but the Persian Sibyl is said to have foretold the exploits of Alexander of Macedon (The Great) . Nicanor, who wrote the life of Alexander mentions her. The Persian Sibyl, by name Sambethe, was said to be of the family of Noah. A painting of Sibilla Persica by Guercino (1647) hangs in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. The Persian Sibyl was said to be prophetic priestess presiding over the Apollonian Oracle though her location remained vague enough so that she might be called the "Babylonian Sibyl".