As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth. As a result of the expansion of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in its designs and materials used, such as precious and semi-precious gemstones. Roman jewellery often reflected the culture the Romans came into contact with, and can be viewed as a testament to the prosperity and power of the Roman Empire. Cameo refers to a method of engraving semiprecious stones in high relief, in contrast with intaglios which were carved in negative. Romans wore jewellery enriched with cameos both to flaunt their sophisticated tastes and wealth, and to demonstrate their devotion to gods or political forces. Ancient Roman cameos were made mostly of semi-precious stones, such as agate, onyx and sardonyx.
Roman Gold Cameo Pendant with Goddess
An extremely fine Ancient Roman gold medallion featuring a ribbed loop for suspension and an oval plaque, framed by an intricate border, comprising coiled and braided thin gold wires. The medallion in set with a sensitive high relief chalcedony cameo of a young female figure, portrayed in profile, facing right, wearing a sleeveless vest and with her hair loose on her shoulder. Although the true identity of the figure portrayed on this cameo remains a mystery, the hairstyle and the sleeveless vest, remind to iconographies of the Roman goddess of the hunt and wild animals Diana. The reverse appears unworked. Weight: 8.2 g.
Provenance: From an important European collection; formerly with a German gallery in the 1970s.
Condition: Very fine condition. The pendant is suitable for modern wear with care.
|Dimensions||H 3.7 cm|