This is a gorgeous antique lava cameo carved in high-relief, circa 1870-90 and probably purchased in Italy as a souvenir of the Grand tour. The cameo depicts a Greek Maenad or Bacchante - in Roman mythology, with grape leaves in her hair and a pearl necklace. It is carved in exquisite detail, in particular the ringlets and leaves in her hair and her strong profile. Lava cameos are greatly valued as, unlike shell cameos, not that of them many have survived.
Maeands or Bacchantes played an important role in mythology, literature, and art. These women worshiped the Greek god Dionysus and formed part of his entourage. The cameo is framed in unmarked gold pinchbeck with a secure later catch. There are a couple of tiny blemishes on the edge of the cameo. Other than that and some patina on the frame, the butterscotch colored cameo is in good condition without cracks. It is rare to find a lava cameo in such fine condition. Cameo size is 1 3/8 inches in length and 1 1/8 inch in width.
A wonderful Victorian cameo for your collection.
Item ID: AJ-149
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