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Renaissance Cameo Pendant
- The carved cameo at the center of this pendant dates to the Renaissance age
- It features the biblical story of the sacrifice of Isaac in the Greco-Roman style
- The gold setting is intricately adorned by gems, pearls and vibrant enamel
- Similar examples can be found in the British Royal Collection and the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Get complete item description here
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The carver brilliantly uses the natural layers of the stone to achieve the illusion of shadow and musculature on the figures. A second, smaller cameo is set at the top of the pendant, while a myriad of multi-colored gems, pearls and enamel adorns the 18K gold setting. A large Baroque pearl suspended from an enamel dragon finishes the design, which embodies the opulence and theatricality of jewels from the Renaissance age.
Cameos and intaglios were highly popular amongst wealthy connoisseurs in Renaissance Italy, and owning the finest pieces was the privilege of princes. Although they were often elaborately mounted for display alone, cameos were also frequently worn as pendants, surrounded by enameled and stone-set gold frames. Such pieces were particularly prized by the Medici and Lorraine families, many of which can now be seen at the National Archeological Museum in Florence.
Very few Renaissance cameos remain in existence and even fewer in such elaborate pendant settings. The present example is among these rarities, while others can be found in the British Royal Collection and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Cameo: Early 17th century
Pendant: 9" high x 5" wide
14K gold chain: 16" length