The Persian Sibyl
  • Material: Cornelian Shell, 15 k gold tested.
  • Size: just over 2 3/8" by 2 2/8". Only cameo is 2 1/8" by 2".
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1860/1870 Italy.
  • Conditions: A couple of natural lines in the shell, a few traces of soldering on the back of the frame where there is a an added small metal plaque where the frame was repaired, see pictures.
Please note
There are new pictures for this cameo taken with different lights and angles which are necessary to allow you to easily catch the real beauty of the cameo in every detail, difficult task to do through simple pictures.
Highest Museum Quality cameo depicting the Sibilla Persica (Persian Sibyl). This cameo is after a painting of Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Cento 1591 - Bologna 1666) painted in 1647 for the Governor of Cento Carlo Rondinelli. The painting is now in the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
This is a superbly carved cameo, look how the carver caught all the details from the painting. Her sumptuous dress is magnificently made, her left hand softly rested against her cheek is carved so finely that the hand seems real. There is even something wrote on the paper where she's writing on. This to repeat that each detail of this cameo is simply amazing. This subject is a surpassing beauty one, everything in this cameo is amazingly carved, this cameo seems just like a sculpture. All the details are just perfect.  This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
The word Sibyl comes Latin from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess There were many Sibyls in the ancient world, but the Persian Sibyl is said to have foretold the exploits of Alexander of Macedon (The Great) .Nicanor, who wrote the life of Alexander mentions her. The Persian Sibyl, by name Sambethe, was said to be of the family of Noah. A painting of Sibilla Persica by Guercino (1647) hangs in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. The Persian Sibyl was said to be prophetic priestess presiding over the Apollonian Oracle though her location remained vague enough so that she might be called the "Babylonian Sibyl".