Venus and Adonis
  • Material : Sardonyx Shell, 14k gold marked.
  • Size: 3 3/8" by just over 2 5/8" not counting the bale, only cameo is 2 6/8" by just over 2".
  • Weight: The weight of gold is a substantial 25/27 grams circa. Total weight 48.4 grams. .
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1880 Italy.
  • Conditions: Mint.
Highest Museum Quality Cameo depicting Venus and Adonis.  This subject is rarest, I have seen it only once in my long cameo trade. Surely it is from a painting but I'm still researching to try to identify it. This is a love scene, Venus has her breast shown and smiles to Adonis who lies near her wearing a hunter costume. Cherubs are present because symbols of love. Behind them there is a temple scene and look how the carver used the shell to create the illusion of the perspective, this is truly amazing and it is not often seen in cameos. This is a demonstration of the great skill of the carver. There is a decorated mirror close to Venus, as she was famous for her beauty and she wanted always see it through a mirror.  Please note the beauty of the two lover and their  expressivity,  the large profusion of details masterfully carved and overall the reality of the face feature, evidenced in the next pictures, details exclusively due to the skill of a great master carver of the past. What can I say about the gold frame? It is superb, totally hand chiselled and just right for the beauty of this cameo. A beauty around another beauty. This is a cameo of surpassing beauty an incredible work of art and very detailed,  carved by an artist.  Rarest cameo and subject very desirable collectors' piece.
A bit of History:
Adonis is one of the most complex cult figures in classical times. He has assumed many roles in each period. Symbolizes the youthful male beauty but also death and renewal of nature. From his blood grew anemones and Adonis is associated to them. According to Greek tradition, the son born of incest between Cinyras, King of Cyprus (drunk for the occasion), and his daughter Myrrha, left the mother's body turned into a myrrh tree to escape the wrath of his father as soon as they discover d ' been deceived. Raised by Naiad, he literally witch with her dazzling beauty of Aphrodite herself, who loved him passionately, and then by Persephone. According to the story of Pseudo-Apollodorus, Aphrodite in Persephone sent him from a wooden box so that it kept him safe. Persephone fell in love and struggles to Aphrodite. Zeus resolved their dispute by ordering the boy to spend one third of the year with Aphrodite, one third with Persephone and a third with the person of his choice.