- This item has been sold
- Date: c.1600
- Size: 45mmx35mm
Large honey coloured agate cameo of a wedded couple, c.1600, in a silver gilt frame circa 1650
Size of cameo: 45mmx35mm
Ref: CAM 9818
In medieval Italy treasures of the Etruscans, Greeks and Romans began to appear in the ruins of ancient cities, jewellery set with carved gems, cameos and intaglios – an extraordinary craft nearly lost with the fall of the Roman Empire. These rare carved masterpieces entered and survived in the collections of The Vatican, European Nobles and Royals, but by the beginning of the 15th Century, supplies began to dry up. To meet the demand re-establishment of the ancient art began with the copying of ancient gems, only to become a reborn art-form with countless portraits of men of the age depicted as Zeus or Hercules and marriage portraits with bride and groom portrayed as Roman Emperor and Empress, or as Pluto and Prosepina.
Examples of similar marriage portraits can be seen in the collections of The Louvre, Paris, The Vatican, Rome, The British Museum, London, The Metropolitan Museum, New York. See also Ancient and Modern Jewels In The Collection Of Her Majesty The Queen, Kirsten Aschengreen Piacenti and John Boardman 2008. Pages: 116 – 119.