- Material : Sardonyx Shell, 9k gold tested.
- Size: 2 1/2" by 2 2/8", cameo itself is 2 2/8" by 2".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850/1860 Italy, frame could be English. Signed on the front with the letters P. L. Scratched on the back by the artist and I can read the word "Roma".
- Conditions: A slightest and shortest natural shell line which can be barely seen ONLY when cameo is backlit.
Museum Quality Sardonyx large shell cameo, the oval shell cameo elaborately carved with eight putti around playing with a goat within a collet gold mount and outer undulating partly engraved. This is fantastic cameo with lot of details. Pictures really don't give any justice to this cameo because they were hard to take being the carving so white and reflecting the light. Seen in person this piece is really breathtaking. Look at all the details shown in this scene and at how they are incredibly detailed. Putti were a lovely and popular subject in the Victorian era but this is the first time that I see this particular scene on a cameo. The carving is relieved and three dimensional. There are eight happy putti in movement, three of them holding a flower garland which they put around the goat's neck, another one is riding the goat holding her by her horns, two others are helping him to climb on the back of the goat and another is lying on the ground and is pulling the beard of the goat. There is a basket of flowers and fruiting vines on the ground. The whole scene takes place close to a Roman ruin, probably the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli (Rome). The beauty of this cameo is clearly visible and the scene is more than lovely, an outstanding cameo carved by a true artist. This cameo is after a painting from Piat Joseph Sauvage who was a Belgian painter, read below about him please. This one is absolutely not to be missed. A very desirable collectors piece.
A bit of history:Piat Joseph Sauvage
(19 January 1744 in Tournai – 11 June 1818 in Tournai) was a Belgian painter.
Piat's father, Antoine, was a glass cutter. Piat worked in his father's factory until the age of 17, when he completed his technical schooling in drawing. He went on to improve his artistic education at the Antwerp Academy under the direction of Martin Joseph Geeraerts, an expert in grisaille and historic paintings.
He worked for a time in Brussels under the rule of the Habsburgs. He then joined the Saint Luc Academy in Paris, and in 1774 made nine paintings including the grisaille bas-relief La Mort de Germanicus (Germanicus death)
Sauvage was accepted into the Acadèmie royal de Paris
after he produced a well-known painting of a round table with an embroidered cloth on which stand a statue of a child, a helmet, books, a violin, and other items. This canvas is at the Palace of Fontainebleau
which also has other dessus-de-porte
decorative works by this artist.
As his fame grew, he was chosen as the official painter of the Prince de Condé, and then by Louis XVI and the Royal Family. During this period, he painted Marie-Antoinette and produced paintings for the chapel of Saint-Cloud among other works.
His appointment as Royal artist did not keep him from joining the popular side of the French
Revolution. His painting surprisingly did not slow down during this period of political upheaval.
From 1804 to 1807, he painted porcelain figurines for the famous Sèvres porcelain factory. In 1808 he returned to Tournai to become the director of the Academy of Drawing. Until 1817, he succeeded in this role while famous artists such as Antoine Payen studied there. He also painted the Sept Sacrements
, or Seven Sacraments, in the choir of the Tournai cathedral in order to replace the superb tapestries stolen by the Jacobins during the revolution.