Silver-Gilt, Gold, Carved Shell Cameo, Micromosaic and Seed Pearl Pendant, Nicolo Morelli, Early 19th Century
- silver-gilt, gold, carved shell, seed pearl, pendant
Nicolo Morelli (1771-1830) a noted Roman gem engraver, was patronized by Napoleon I who viewed cameos as the embodiments of the classical ideal. Napoleon founded a school for gem engraving and in 1805 established a Prix de Rome for this art form, which he regarded equal to paintings and sculpture.
See L. Forrer, Biographical Dictionary of Medallist, Vol. IV p. 147 and Vol. VIII p. 76; and for other gems by Morelli see J.D. Draper, 'Cameo Appearances', The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Spring 2008, p. 42, nos. 88-89; and C. Gere, The Art of the Jeweller, A Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift to the British Museum, Vol. I. p. 131, no. 86.