- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 18k gold tested.
- Size: 2 3/8" by 2" only cameo is 2 1/8" by 1 6/8".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy, mounting is English. Original fitted case by Hunt & Roskell, London, Jewellers to the Queen. Signed on the back by the carver, "Fioppi" who was a contemporary carver to the Saulinis. He had his studio in Rome, Via Condotti, 76.
- Conditions: Mint.
More than Museum Quality cameo depicting Goddess Flora. A very popular Victorian subject but finding one like this is not easy. This is with not doubt one of the most wonderful Goddess Flora that I have ever handled. She wears a crown of roses and rose blossoms more than wonderfully carved on her hair. Each petal of each rose is visible and masterly made. Her curly hair are tied by her own plaited hair. Marvelous detail. A garland of flowers and fruits gently lies oh her shoulder, this is almost rare because this subject is often depicted head flowers crowned, the garland shows roses, rose blossoms, a apple, bellflowers, a daisy, an open pomegranate, a sweet forget-me-not and some ear of corn. Everything is very realistic and more finely carved. The carving is enough relieved from the background so that the carver could deeply work on the details. Have then a look at her face, her dreaming and pensive expression is amazing, there is also something of enigmatic on her face and it is in her smile. Her mouth is simply outstanding, look how her lips are stunningly designed, how they are full and round, a stupendous and sensual feminine mouth never seen so masterly carved before now. This cameo is a personification of the grace, pure beauty. A rarest, wonderful cameo to not to be missed.
A bit of history:
In Roman mythology, Flora was the goddess of flowers and the season of spring. She was a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, as there were several more important fertility goddesses, but her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the Floralia
, was held in April or early May and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. Her Greek equivalent was Chloris. Flora was married to Favonius, the wind god.