- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 18k gold tested and marked on the pin with the hallmark of the Papal State (Rome) which depicts two crossed keys and papal hat hallmark.
- Size: 2 3/8" by 2”, cameo itself is 2” by 1 5/8”.
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy. Original fitted case.
- Conditions: A shell line at circa 5:00 hours, this line becomes a slight stress line at its end to the cameo bottom, another couple of natural shell lines, visible when cameo is backlit.
Museum Quality cameo brooch depicting the Allegory of the Day and Night. The carving is superb, Eos and Selene, sisters of Elios and daughters of Iperion and Teia. All the details are perfectly rendered. Eos is the Goddess of the Day (and Dawn) and her sister Selene the Goddess of the Night (and Moon) , portrayed together to symbolize the Allegory of the Day and Night. Symbols of the Night as Moon and Star, the veiled head adorned with Opium Poppy Seeds (Latin: Papaver somniferum), the Goddess taking a sleeping attitude with closed eyes and head down, the owl, sibol of the night, are all shown, as the symbols of the Day too, Flowers in her hair, the Goddess taking a widely awake attitude with eyes open and head up, the dove carrying a bunch of flowers. A very popular Victorian subject in a real museum quality cameo. This is an incredible work of art, very detailed cameo, carved by an artist. The magnificent Etruscan style gold frame is very impressive, made in massive gold and is in as new condition. Cameo is still in its own fitted case. A true artwork rare to find today.
A bit of history:
Eos is a figure of Greek mythology. She is the Goddess of the Dawn. She is a beautiful and charitable Goddess. She is the daughter of Hyperion. Hyperion is also the father of Helios (the sun) and of Selene (the moon )Hyperion's name means "The one who precedes the Sun", and probably is related to his role like Helios' or Eos' father, the faint light that precedes the rising of the day. Eos has several sons, between them there is Memnone, killed from Achilles during the siege of Troy. From that day the Goddess of the Dawn inconsolably cries the loss of her son every morning and her tears form the dew. Homer calls her the "Goddess with the rosy fingers" for the effect that can be seen in the sky at dawn. Selene, Goddess of the Moon, daughter of Hyperion. her assignment is to bring the moonlight to the humans driving a cart drawn from oxen or from horses that runs after the solar one, in many representations. Generally described like a beautiful woman with pale face that wears long, flowing, white or silver robe and that has on her head a waxing moon and a torch in her hand. In the Greek-Roman mythology tradition the Moon, thanks to the mutability of its aspect that makes it unique between the stars, has been associated to three divinity and tied to three its "events". Full moon, New moon and Waxing moon. Life metaphor (full moon), death (new moon) rebirth (waxing moon). Since time immemorial these three lunar figures have represented the cycle of life involving apparently heterogeneous phenomena like the birth, the death, the fertility, the femininity, the immortality. Selene, (from Selas - Greek) means splendour.