This antique oval carved white marble plaque is after an ancient Greek work by the carver Tryphon which is known as the Marlborough Cameo. The scene depicts a figural grouping which includes three putti and a pair of veiled individuals understood to represent Cupid and Psyche. The couple is being led to their wedding bed by a putto holding a large torch over his shoulder. The putto at the left bears a winnowing fan filled with pomegranates on his shoulder while the putto at the far right is removing fabric which is draped on the bed. Be sure to use the zoom function when viewing the photos to appreciate the level of detail in the carving - it is impressive.
The plaque is mounted on a red velvet backing and is housed within a decorative gilt metal frame attached to a wooden base. The frame is fitted with a round metal loop at the top for use in hanging the piece on a wall.
The plaque is in very good condition and displays beautifully. That said, as an antique item the piece shows minor signs of age including a nick to the polished edge at the 10 0'clock position and some chips to the back edge which are only evident upon close inspection. It should also be mentioned that there is extensive loss to the velvet nap which is related to age. In addition, the metal frame also has some discoloration/tarnish and a slight dent at the 1 o'clock position. The back of the piece bears a paper covering reading "1770 - 1780" and "white onyx" along with "Flaxman" referring to highly regarded English sculptor John Flaxman. Flaxman was one of several artists to copy the popular artwork, which in his case was for porcelain manufacturer Wedgwood.
The plaque itself measures 3.25" by 2.75" while the framed dimensions are 5.5" by 4.5" and 0.75" deep. There is no signature present so the sculptor is unknown. The piece weighs in at 6oz.
This antique carved marble plaque would be a wonderful addition to a collection of fine neoclassical artwork. The piece is nicely sized for placement in an easel on a desk or table, or to hang in a small space. A lovely antique find!
Antique Carved White Marble Plaque The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche after Tryphon