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Bust of a Philospher

  • Object:

    Cameo

  • Place of origin:

    Italian (probably, made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Amethyst cameo

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss M. F. T. Ready

  • Museum number:

    A.5-1959

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This amethyst cameo represents the bust of a philosopher, bearded and moustached.
    The art of engraving gemstones has been admired since the early days of the Roman empire. It was revived in Europe during the Renaissance, and again in the 18th and 19th centuries. Cameos and intaglios were prized and collected, sometimes as symbols of power and mounted in jewelled settings, sometimes as small objects for private devotion or enjoyment

    An intaglio carving is cut into the surface of the material and a cameo is in relief. The art of gemstone carving was known in ancient Greece and Rome and revived in Renaissance Italy, when connoisseurs began to form rich collections of engraved stones.

  • Physical description

    The head and part of the shoulders and chest of a man, bearded and moustached. His hair is bound by a circlet; the tunic is held at the shoulder by a circular fibula.

  • Dimensions

    Height: 30 mm, Width: 21 mm

  • Object history note

    Bequeathed by Miss M.F.T. Ready through Stibbard, Gibson and Co., Baltic House, Leadenhall Street, E.C.3

  • Descriptive line

    Cameo, amethyst, bust of a philosopher, probably Italian, 18th century

  • Collection code

    Sculpture Collection