Goddess Diana
  • Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15K gold tested.
  • Size: 2 4/8" by just under 2 1/8".
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy, frame could be English.
  • Conditions: More than excellent, a couple of hairlines on the back, some traces of soldering on the inside part of the back frame, I think original to the mounting.
Museum Quality cameo depicting Goddess Diana, the carving is more than superb.Finding a museum quality cameo of Goddess Diana is rare because even if Diana was a very popular subject in the Victorian era, the most of times cameos depicting her were very poorly carved. I have seen a lot of cameos depicting Goddess Diana but a very few of them deserved to be classified as Museum Quality cameos. This one is ones of the very few.    Everything is perfectly carved and so realistic. Her main attributes, the arrows and the crescent moon, are shown. This is a real work of art, look at her plaited hair, simply amazing. Look at the grace of her face, what a work of art. The frame is another work of art, in Etruscan revival, finely worked and engraved, completes the beauty of this cameo. The pictures really don't give any justice to this stunning piece, but I can assure you all that this is a piece that can take your breath away. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and also of the moon In literature she was the equivalent of the Greek goddess Artemis, the Hellenic goddess of forests, hills, virginity/fertility, and the hunt and was often depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion Along with her main attributes, Diana was an emblem of chastity Oak groves were especially sacred to her. According to mythology, Diana was born with her twin brother Apollo on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. Diana made up a trinity with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.