- Materials: Cornelian Shell, silver and Turquoise beads.
- Size: 2” by 1 6/8” only cameo is 1 5/8” by 1 3/8”.
- Date and Origin: circa 1860/1870 Italy.
- Conditions: Mint.
Museum Quality cameo depicting another rarest subject, the Italian hero Giuseppe Garibaldi. Look at carving, every details is finely carved as the wrinkle around his eye and on his forehead. This is a cameo that I really would not expect to find especially in this year because we are celebrating the 150 year of our Italian Unification (1861/2011) which Garibaldi was one of the greatest supporter. This cameo was probably made to commemorate him and his heroic acts, the frame is in a shape of laurel crown that, you know, is used for heroes, emperors, kings and poets and has a precise meaning. It is an extraordinary coincidence that I have found it in the 150th anniversary of our United Nation. A special museum quality cameo to not to miss.A great addition to any collection.
A Bit of History:
Giuseppe Garibaldi (July 4, 1807 - June 2, 1882) was an Italian military and political figure. was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and afterward returned to Italy as a commander in the conflicts of the Risorgimento. He has been dubbed the "Hero of the Two Worlds" in tribute to his military expeditions in both South America and Europe. He is considered an Italian national hero. After the First Italian Independence War to which he partecipated with not great successes, he went to New York where the inventor Antonio Meucci employed Garibaldi in his candle factory on Staten Island. The cottage on Staten Island where he stayed is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is preserved as the Garibaldi Memorial. Garibaldi returned again to Italy in 1854. At the beginning of April 1860, uprisings in Messina and Palermo in the independent and peaceful Kingdom of the Two Sicilies provided Garibaldi with an opportunity. He gathered about a thousand volunteers (practically all northern Italians, and called i Mille (the Thousand), or, as popularly known, the Redshirts) in two ships named Piemonte and Lombardo, left from Genoa on May 5 in the evening and landed at Marsala, on the westernmost point of Sicily, on May 11. The battle of Calatafimi (Sicily) on May 15 was decisive in terms of establishing Garibaldi's power in the island. An apocryphal but realistic story had him say to his lieutenant Nino Bixio, Qui si fa l'Italia o si muore, that is, Here we either make Italy, or we die. He gained worldwide renown and the adulation of Italians. Having conquered Sicily, he crossed the Strait of Messina with help from the British Royal Navy, and marched north. Garibaldi's progress was met with more celebration than resistance, and on September 7 he entered the capital city of Naples, by train. The meeting at Teano between Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel II, on October 26, 1860, is the most important event in modern Italian history, Garibaldi greeted him as King of Italy and shook his hand. Garibaldi rode into Naples at the king's side on November 7, then retired to the rocky island of Caprera, refusing to accept any reward for his services.
At the outbreak of the American Civil War (in 1861), Garibaldi volunteered his services to President Abraham Lincoln. Garibaldi was offered a Major General's commission in the U. S. Army through the letter from Secretary of State William H. Seward to H. S. Sanford, the U. S. Minister at Brussels, July 17, 1861. On September 18, 1861, Sanford sent the following reply to Seward: He [Garibaldi] said that the only way in which he could render service, as he ardently desired to do, to the cause of the United States, was as Commander-in-chief of its forces, that he would only go as such, and with the additional contingent power to be governed by events of declaring the abolition of slavery; that he would be of little use without the first, and without the second it would appear like a civil war in which the world at large could have little interest or sympathy.
According to Italian historian Petacco, "Garibaldi was ready to accept Lincoln's 1862 offer but on one condition: that the war's objective be declared as the abolition of slavery. But at that stage Lincoln was unwilling to make such a statement lest he worsen an agricultural crisis." On August 6, 1863, after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued, Garibaldi wrote to Lincoln: "Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure."