- Material: Hard stone, 18k gold scratched and tested.
- Size: 2 7/8" not counting the bale who is ½” by 2 1/8", only cameo is 2 2/8” by 1 5/8”.
- Date and Origin: Circa 1880 Italy. Scratch signed on the back, the letter S and the numbers 3126 then in the center three other letters “s t r “.
- Conditions: two slightest shortest natural stone lines, one at circa 7.00 hours and the secondo one at circa 3.00 hours, NOT VISIBLE by naked eye and very barely visible when cameo is backlit, mentioned for accuracy otherwise IMMACULATE.
This is an outstanding and gorgeous Museum Quality cameo depicting a Bacchante. The cameo is very large and can be worn as a brooch or as a pendant, the bale can be hidden on the back when cameo is worn as a brooch. The carving on this cameo is really more than superb, A three-dimensional carving who evidences the magnificent beauty of the subject. The Bacchante really jumps out from the background, the stone is a two layers one, pale grey for the background and white for the carving. She’s pretty and has curly long hair embellished with vine leaves, she’s wearing a panther’s pelt on her shoulder, panther’s pelts are one of the symbols of Bacchantes. The frame is another work of art, chiselled gold and natural pearls which make this cameo even more precious and rare. A piece who really would deserve to be displayed in a Museum. Another great treat for cameos collectors.
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.