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Large Chrysoprase Cameo of Serapis

  • This item has been sold
  • Date: c. 1820
  • Size: Size 37mmx27mm


Following Alexander’s death, and the spread of the Roman Empire, mainstream society upgraded to a new set of gods using the Roman sun god Saturn and a new god for Alexandria, Egypt, named Serapis.
Serapis was the very novel solution of Ptolemy I that he used to keep the peace in Alexandria between the Egyptian and the Greek cultures. Even though the no-name god and Serapis were both very excellent ideas for a mixed population, was only Serapis that was able to evolve along with Isis

Frederick the Great king of Prussia from 1740 until his death in 1786. Addicted to the arts, adorned his opulent palace at Potsdam, named Sans Souci, with objects and furniture made in whole or part of chrysoprase. All of the material for these works (among them, two all-chrysoprase tables) came from a find in what is now Poland but was then Silesia.

Frederick preferred this quartz to any other gem. His favorite ring, which he never removed, was set with a large chrysoprase surrounded by diamonds. His elegant walking stick was topped with a chrysoprase handle.

According to Albertus Magnus (1206-1280), scientist, philosopher, and theologian — and one of the most widely read and most learned man of his time — it was during the time of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) that some began calling chrysoprase the “victory stone.”

As the story goes, Alexander the Great’s amazing eleven-year winning streak was said to have been due to the fact that he always wore a “prase” stone on his belt or “girdle.”

But, one day as Alexander was walking near a river, a snake surprised him, “biting the stone off the girdle and dropping it in the river.” Supposedly, from that time forward, Alexander never won another battle, an anomoly in the short but brilliant career of this extraordinary soldier who died at the age of thirty-three

Size 37mmx27mm


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Listing ID: 8874f60c4651bf23

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