Ancient Roman Hardstone Sardonyx Cameo of Minerva

Ancient Roman Hardstone Sardonyx Cameo of Minerva

Code: 11848

£1,450.00 Approx $1994.5, €1697.89
 

This is an ancient Roman hardstone cameo of the goddess Minerva (Athena) dating to the 3rd - 4th century AD. The gem is nicely cut on two-layer sardonyx, with the background of an orange sard. Minerva is cut on a paler white/golden layer, which contrasts with the background. The size of this gem would indicate it was originally set into a pendant. Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, her portrait functioned as an amulet, placing the wearer under her protection. Minerva was a popular motif for such amulets. In mythology, she was often a protector of heroes such as Herakles or Theseus. She was also connected with practical activities like skilled crafts and healing.

OBJECT: Cameo

CULTURE: Roman

DATE: c. 3rd - 4th century AD

MATERIALSardonyx

SIZE: 21.23mm x 13.88mm x 6.99mm

WEIGHT: 3.19 grams

PROVENANCE: British private collection, acquired on the London art market in 2005