Size: 2 1/8" by 1 7/8" .
Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy.
Conditions: Front cameo is in mint conditions. There are two tiniest chips on the back edges, mentioned for accuracy.
This is a Museum Quality cameo of Medusa. This cameo is very finely and superbly carved, as can be seen looking at the pictures. The three dimensional carving and the marvellous profile of Medusa makes this cameo rare and precious. Her face is pretty and the facial features are perfect like the perfect, long and straight Greek nose. Her eye is closed like she was sleeping and her face expression is serene as she already went over the strong suffering for her lost life since she was decapitated by Perseus who offered her head to Athena who put it on her armour. This cameo is really a wonderful piece, superbly carved. The pictures really don't give justice to this piece even because it was not yet cleaned, so some spots that can be seen on it are only dirt, once cleaned it will have a new life. I will change the pictures with new ones just I clean it. A wonderful cameo for all the enthusiast cameo collectors.
NOTE: Cameo has been not yet cleaned.
A bit of history:
Medusa is a character of Greek's mythology, she was one of three Gorgons, the only one that was mortal. Poseidon fell in love with Medusa and one night he took her in a temple consecrated to Athena to consummate their love. Athena offended, transformed Medusa's hair into snakes and again everyone that had looked Medusa's eyes would have been petrified. Medusa was killed by Perseus who cut her head looking at her through a bright shield received from Athena. From Medusa's body came out Pegasus, the mythic winged horse, and Crisaore generated with the union with Poseidon. For this reason Medusa's head was given by Perseus to Athena who put it in the center of her aegis. Aegis used by Athena, is a fringed armour or a shield with Medusa's head in the center.