This finely carved cameo is attributed to August Rudolph Wild (1891-1956), counted among the last masters of the art of cameo engraving. Despite the mounting economic and political problems of his era, as well as a general decline in demand for carved gems, Wild’s supreme talents in gem carving did not go unrecognised. He was awarded three Grand Prizes at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937, though he refused to attend due to the organising influence of the Nazi party at this event, and his disagreement with their suppression and destruction of what they deemed ‘degenerate’ art. Wild’s gem carving career was cut short in 1942 due to health issues. Examples of his work can be found on display in the Idar-Oberstein museum.
The present cameo is modelled after a statue of the Greek god of war Ares, dating from the 1st – 2nd century AD, known as the Ares Borghese, on permanent display in the Louvre.