Apollo on Chariot
  • Material: Hard Stone.
  • Sizes: Vulcan's Forge  just over 1 5/8" by 1 2/8" - Paris, Helen and Hector 1 5/8" by 1 2/8" - Apollo on Chariot 2" by 1 3/8".
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1820/1830 Italy.
  • Conditions: Vulcan's Forge more than excellent, a tiniest chip on the left side of Venus nose, neither noticeable by naked eye nor seen by a loupe, a couple of internal natural lines, a couple of surface lines probably original to the cameo, no cracks.  Paris, Helen and Hector, more than excellent, a tiniest chip not noticeable by naked eye on the base just under the right Hector's foot, a few natural internal lines. Apollo on Chariot, a few internal natural lines, otherwise mint.  
This is a set of three more than Museum Quality hard stone cameos depicting three mythological scenes. One is Venus, Mars and Cupid in the Vulcan's Forge, after a sculpture of Thorvaldsen of 1810. The second one depicts Paris his wife Helen of Troy and Hector, the Greek hero of the Troy's war, even this one is after a work of Thorvaldsen made in 1809. The third one depicts Apollo driving his chariot, this one is after a painting found on an ancient Greek vase and after reproduced by various artists, one of those was the painter Pietro Buonaccorsi, called Perino del Vaga, workshop of Italian, 1501-1547, the drawing is Apollo Driving the Chariot of the Sun made in  1519/21. The three cameos are three-dimensionally carved and each tiniest details is shown, there are really no words to describe them. Look at the pictures and you will be amazed. Thinking that such artworks are carved on a so small portion of stone makes me speechless, only a great master carved of the past could do such a work using all of his skill. Hard stone are not so easy to work as shells are, shells are softer to carve and easier to carve on even the tiniest details, it is not so for hard stones. I have to say that despite of the wonderful pictures, these cameos are better when seen in person. This was a set of five hard stone cameos, the last two ones depict Cupid and Psyche, they are in mint condition, each cameo is 4/8" by 13/32", wonderfully carved. Their size is just right to make a pair of earrings. I'll give them as a bonus to the one who will purchase the entire set. Again, cameos are not mounted, I'll mount them for you, if wanted, with a simple 18k gold frame, including a bale or a pin on the back, or both if preferred. Mounting is included in the price shown, if not mounting is needed I'll detract $ 300 from each piece.      
A bit of History:
Vulcan (Hephaestus is the Greek name) is the God of the smiths. He discovered the ways of working iron, copper, gold, silver, and everything else which requires fire for working.  Hephaestus is called son of Zeus and Hera. Hephaestus was married to Venus, but she loved Mars in the house of Hephaestus whenever he was away. However, Hephaestus, trapped the two lovers in bed with a clever invention, and exposed them to the laughter of the other OLYMPIANS.
Without doubt, after Zeus, Apollo is the most important God of the Greek mythology. Latona, seduced by Zeus, assisted by the goddess Iris, gave birth to two twins, Apollo and Artemis. Apollo represents the self-control, the self-knowledge and the sense of the measure, in his temple to Delphi it was written there "know yourself." He also deals with the expiations, purifications,  recoveries (and as such he has called "Alexikakos" that means "the one who sends away the evils"). Apollo is also a prophetic God, God of the fair and of the purity and also of the music, in fact he is represented with the Lyre and as head of the Muses that he drove and protected. He was identified also as Helios and he was imagined driving a cart thrown by four horses with which it conducted the sun through the sky. Represented as a very beautiful and naked youth, the Romans revered him as protector of the health and as God of the divination, in his honour they celebrated the games called "Ludi Apollinares" (Apollo's Games). Apollo is the solar divinity par excellence. God of all the beautiful things, music, art, poetry.
Paris,  also known as Alexander or Alexandros, the son of Priam, king of Troy, appears in a number of Greek legends. Probably the best-known was his elopement with Helen, queen ofSparta, this being one of the immediate causes of the Trojan War. Later in the war, he fatally wounds Achilles in the heel with an arrow, as foretold by Achilles's mother Thetis.