This is a wonderful Renaissance period agate cameo, dating to the 16th - 17th century. The gem is a good sculpted portrait of an African male, with a snub nose, thick lips and tight curly hair. The cameo is well cut from a layered agate, with the dark brown layer utilized for the head, with a pale brown for the field. This cameo would have originally been set into a gold finger ring, fashionably worn within aristocratic circles. During this period, ownership of exotic man-servants (especially those portrayed on jewels) expressed power, wealth and a taste for exploration. This gem has survived in excellent condition.
DATE: 16th - 17th century A.D.
SIZE: 13mm x 8mm x 4mm
WEIGHT: 0.45 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European private collection
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