Offered by Emmanuel Soubielle Works of Art
Sculpture and works of art
CONSTANTINOPLE (?), 12th century
Height 2,7 cm
Width 1,9 cm
Thickness 0,7 cm
Made of crystal rock, the cameo is carved in high relief with a half-length figure of the Virgin orant, dressed with stola and maphorion, raised hands, palms of her hands opened in front of her bust. The gem is of excellent quality and may be compared with another, also depicting the Virgin, made for the Emperor Nicephorus III Botaniates (1071-1081) and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum (accession number A.1:1, 2-1927). We should also mention 2 cameos dating from the 12th century, conserved in Lyon at the Musée des Beaux-Arts (inv. H.2185 and inv. A.1570) and one in Paris at the Bibliothèque Nationale (inv. Schl.29). Our cameo also recalls the half-length figures of the Virgin orant found on coins of Constantine X (1059-1067), and it is probably around this period that our gem may be assigned.