The annular onyx plaque carved to depict the face of Medusa in white against a black background, within a gold mount of archeological revival inspiration, embellished with a series of white enamelled ovoid-shapes within rope work borders, circa 1840-1850. Dimensions: 6.5cm by 5.8cm.
Note: The face of Medusa is one of the most powerful and reproduced images from antiquity. More commonly a fearsome or savage gorgon monster, here we see a more delicate and youthful depiction. This brooch has previously been attributed to Benedetto Pistrucci due to its obvious comparison with the jasper cameo signed by Pistrucci that is currently in the MET permanent collection. The size of the cameo, subject matter, sensibility of the carving and the mounting (itself attributed to Castellani) are comparable.
The Collection of American historian Dr Susan Weber, founder of the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture