- Material : Sardonyx Shell, 18 k gold tested.
- Size: 2" by just over 1 5/8"
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850/1860 Italy, frame could be English.
- Conditions: A leaf on Athena's helmet is broken, some scratches on the back, no hairlines or stress lines.
Museum Quality Cameo depicting Athena here portrayed with her sumptous helmet with the winged horse on the side, On her breast there is the head of Medusa that Perseus gave her after he killed the Gorgon. The frame is in Etruscan revival and made of solid gold. This is an incredible work of art, very detailed cameo, carved by an artist. Rarest cameo and subject very desirable collectors' piece.
A bit of history:
In the Greek mythology Athena, daughter of Zeus, was the goddess of Wisdom, of the Weaving, of the Arts, and, presumably, of the noblest sides of the War, while the violence and the cruelty were part of the dominion of Ares. The sacred symbols were the owl and the olive. She is almost always represented with a helmet or a shield and with the Aegis (a short armour with fringes) with in the center the head of Medusa given by Perseus to Athena in sign of thanks for the help had when he faced the Medusa. Athena never had an husband or lover and for this she was known like Athena Parthenos (the Virgin Athena), from which the name of the most famous temple dedicated to her, the Parthenon on Athen's Acropolis.