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Renaissance Cameo Pendant



The cameo at the center of this exceptional pendant is a stunning example of the art of gem engraving during the Renaissance. It likely dates to the early 17th century and features a sacrificial scene inspired by the Greco-Roman era. The central flaming altar is flanked by two figures preparing to sacrifice a ram, while a figure in a lion skin blowing horns stands in the left corner. 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


  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Stone Cut
  • Dimensions
    Height: 9 in. (228.6 mm)Width: 5 in. (127 mm)Length: 16 in. (406.4 mm)
  • Style
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
    17th Century
  • Date of Manufacture
    Early 17th Century
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 30-83941stDibs: LU13510031212

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Free Standard Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 1-3 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New Orleans, LA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Seller
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Located in New Orleans, LA
Recognized Seller
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Established in 1912
1stDibs seller since 2010
10 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 9 hours
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