Ivory Bacchante
  • Material: Ivory, pin is probably silver but it bears no mark, pin is probably later than the cameo.
  •  Size:  2 1/2" by 2"
  •  Date and Origin: Circa 1840/1850 Dieppe, France.
  • Conditions: Mint
Highest Museum Quality ivory cameo. depicting a Bacchante.  Cameo is huge and is it just like a sculpture. An amazing work of art in mint condition. A three-dimensional ivory cameo carved to depict a Bacchante. This is a very unusual one, note the decolletè who is ruched and embellished with a bow. It seems just like one of those dresses worn by girls in the 1800's.  Very unusual for a depiction of a such subject. The era of this cameo is circa 1840/1850, surely carved in Dieppe, France, one of the capitals of the ivory carving during the Georgian and Victorian era. I don't think that I have to spend many word for this one, the pictures speak by themselves. Every small details is perfectly carved. Look how her expression changes putting the cameo under different lights. Then have you seen her pretty face? Simply fantastic. I have never seen something like this one and I really can affirm that this is a unique artwork.  A very desirable collectors piece, rare and more than museum quality cameo.
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.