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This is a rather splendid hardstone relief cameo of Julius Caesar, dating to the 17th - 18th century. The gem is sculpted from one piece of natural cornelian, the lack of contrasting layers technically designates this to be a relief carving (as opposed to a cameo which has a contrasting layer). Relief cameos are known from ancient Rome, again from the Renaissance and Georgian periods. This example displays a detailed portrait of Julius Caesar, with the added star and lituus in intaglio. The portrait likely derived from a coin of Caesar, copied during the Renaissance or Baroque period for the Grand-Tourist. Sadly the cameo has a tiny chip to the end of his nose and another on the edge of the lower toga. Still a perfect piece of antique relief sculpture carved by hand.
OBJECT: Relief Cameo
CULTURE: Late Renaissance - Baroque
DATE: c. 17th - 18th century A.D.
SIZE: 42mm x 33mm x 7mm
WEIGHT: 12.57 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private collection, Cheshire.