ATTRIBUTED TO LUIGI SAULINI (1819-1883)
ITALIAN, MID-19TH CENTURY
CAMEO WITH MEDUSA
sardonyx, set in a gold mount
cameo: 3.1cm., 1¼in.
mount: 3.3cm., 1⅜in.
Overall the condition of the stone is good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. The black ground of the verso is mat in appearance. This appears to be due to a layer of paint having been applied, since there are a few flecks of black paint on the medusa. There are one or two small chips and abrasions to the black ground. There is a possible chip to the tip of the wing, and another possible chip to the ground above this. There is general wear to the mount, which is warped a little to the left side (probably due to a knock).
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This virtuoso cameo carving of the Medusa compares closely to another in the Metropolitan Museum of Art which is attributed to Saulini and is from the Milton Weil Collection (inv. no. 40.20.52). Luigi Saulini was active primarily in the 1860s and 70s and was the son of Tommaso Saulini (1793-1864) who trained under Thorvaldsen. Many of his carvings were taken from contemporary statuary. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a large holding of his oeuvre.