An agate bust of a Muse set with a Roman intaglio
The beauty of the cornelian was not lost on the sculptor, who utilised the deep orange of the stone for the face of the goddess, gently transitioning to the white vein within the stone for her veil. The bust is reminiscent of the work of the renown Miseroni workshop, a Milanese family of lapidaries active throughout the courts of Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. The small bust is mounted in silver and gold and set with old cushion and rose cut diamonds. The base is set with a nicolo intaglio of a seated warrior, dating to the 1st - 2nd century AD.
Measures 4.7cm high (excluding loose pendant loop)
For a comparable portrait of a lady, which also utilises a similar vein of agate see: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, inventory no. Antikensammlung, XII 800
A similar bust also mounted as a seal was sold by Sotheby’s, London, Old Master Sculpture & Early Jewels, 7th December 2021, Lot 33
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