- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15k gold tested.
- Size: 2 6/8" by 2 3/8" only cameo is 2 1/2" by 2 1/8".
- Date and origin: Circa 1850 Italy.
- Conditions: Some natural shell lines, not visible by naked eye, visible when cameo is backlit, a couple of light and shortest scratches on the shell.
This is an incredible and large Museum Quality cameo depicting a rare subject, the Goddess Pomona. This subject is rare to find and infact, in more than twnty years of cameos trading, I have found only three cameos depicting the Goddess Pomona. The pictures speak by themselves about the beauty of this cameo even if seen in person it is even more breathtaking. The carving is three-dimensional and makes this cameo unique. Her face is so pretty and has lot of glamour. Her nose is a perfect straight Greek one and her mouth has just a shape of a heart, beautiful, her upper lip is so well made that it appears to have been drawn. Her eye has even the pupil carved and she's looking up and seems thoughtful. Her long curly hair softly falls on her shoulders and are crowned with lot of flowers and fruits, everything finely carved. Every detail in this cameo is superbly carved and their abundance is incredible, there are fruits, pomegranates and grapes and one apple, flowers as roses and blossoms, bluebells and a daisy, leaves as vine leaves and rose leaves, ears of corn, the right crown for the perfect depiction of the Goddess Pomona which is the Goddess of the abundance. She's wearing a beaded necklace, a touch of further femininity. The carving on this cameo is totally breathtaking, each smallest detail was carefully carved, it is so finely made that you seem you can pick fruits and flowers from her head, really incredible. This cameo is very large and impressive and mounts a magnificent gold frame. This is another gorgeous and rare piece, for any collector.
A bit of history:
Pomona (Latin) was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum
, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. ("Pomme" is the French word for "apple") She was said to be a wood nymph and a part of the Numia, guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes. She scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus and Picus, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman. She and Vertumnus shared a festival held on August 13. Her high priest was called the flamen Pomonalis
. The pruning knife was her attribute. There is a grove that is sacred to her called the Pomonal, located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome.
Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees, garden, and orchards. Unlike many other Roman goddesses and gods, she does not have a Greek counterpart. She watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation. She was not actually associated with the harvest of fruits itself, but with the flourishing of the fruit trees. The pruning knife was her sacred tool. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia. A statue of Pomona is in the fountain in the little park before the Plaza Hotel in New York City.