- Material: Sardonyx Shell, gilt metal.
- Size: 2 1/2" by 2 3/32".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy.
- Conditions: More than excellent, a very very slight hairline which can be seen only if the cameo is held up to a strong light, Venus face is a little bit worn. It was once only for a display use, someone added in a recent past a pin on the back fixing it with glue. Pin and glue can be easily removed if desired. That glue will not leave any trace when removed. Please note that the cameo has been not yet cleaned.
The glue on the back has been removed and the old pin has been soldered to the frame. Please look at the last four pictures at the bottom of the page.
Museum Quality cameo depicting Venus and Cupid. This cameo is probably after a bas relief from Bertel Thorvaldsen 1770-1844: Cupid Stung by a Bee Complains to Venus, made in 1809 now in The Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen. This is a very rare subject in a cameo, this is the first time that I find one. This is a cameo of surpassing beauty, carved by an artist. Every details is perfectly rendered making this cameo a real work of art. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
Venus was a major Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty and fertility, the equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Venus was the consort of Vulcan. She was considered the ancestor of the Roman people by way of its legendary founder, Aeneas, and played a key role in many Roman religious festivals and myths. Venus had no childhood: in every image and each reference she is born adult, nubile, and infinitely desirable. Venus, in many of the late anecdotal myths involving her, is characterized as vain, ill-tempered and easily offended. Though she is one of the few gods of the Greek Pantheon to be actually married, she is frequently unfaithful to her husband. Hephaestus is one of the most even-tempered of the Hellenic deities; in the narrative embedded in the Odyssey Venus seems to prefer Ares, the volatile god of war. She is one of a few characters who played a major part in the original cause of the Trojan War itself: not only did she offer Helen of Sparta to Paris, but the abduction was accomplished when Paris, seeing Helen for the first time, was inflamed with desire to have her—which is Venus' realm. Due to her immense beauty Zeus was frightened that she would be the cause of violence between the other gods. He married her off to Hephaestus, the dour, humourless god of smithing. Her unhappiness with her marriage caused Aphrodite to seek out companionship from others, most frequently Ares, but also Adonis. Cupid or Eros was son of Venus.