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This is a rather splendid hardstone relief cameo of Ajax the Great, 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 the of a helmeted warrior, attributed to the Greek Hero Ajax the Great. Sadly the cameo has a chip to the nose, still a great looking and very sculptural piece of antique relief sculpture carved by hand.
OBJECT: Relief Cameo
CULTURE: Late Renaissance - Baroque
DATE: c. 17th - 18th century A.D.
SIZE: 39mm x 27mm x 12mm
WEIGHT: 13.91 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private collection, Cheshire.