View full screen - View 1 of Lot 45. Italian, 18th century, After the Antique | Cameo with Orestes and Pylades.
45

Italian, 18th century, After the Antique | Cameo with Orestes and Pylades

Italian, 18th century, After the Antique | Cameo with Orestes and Pylades

Italian, 18th century, After the Antique | Cameo with Orestes and Pylades

Italian, 18th century,

After the Antique

Cameo with Orestes and Pylades


chalcedony, within a mount

cameo: 59.8mm., 2.35in.

61.9mm., 2.43in. overall

Overall the condition of the cameo is good with dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There are a series of fissures in the translucent ground, which may be the result of percussion. There is a small loss to the ground at the top left edge. There are some minor surface abrasions to the stone including very slight scratches below the seated man. There is wear to the mount. The pin has been removed from the reverse.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

The cameo follows a celebrated fragment in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (inv. no. 21.1221), which is thought to be ancient, though some scholars have dated it to the Renaissance. The fragment was said to have been discovered in the Roman Campagna by a peasant and subsequently made its way to Cardinal Albani who presented to his lover Countess Cheroffini. The composition depicts Orestes seated, with his head in his hands, whilst Pylades stands leaning against a column. Orestes was the son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon and cousin to Pylades. The scene has been interpreted as showing the two mourning by the tomb of Agamemnon, or as the cousins' farewell before Orestes was due to be sacrificed in Tauris. Scholars have interpreted the relationship between the two as having homoerotic overtones, which is also apparent in the present cameo. The composition of the Boston fragment was reconstructed first by Berneabé based on a relief in Palazzo Mattei. Nathaniel Marchant created his own version which was formerly in the British Museum but was destroyed in World War II but is known from a plaster cast by Tassie in the same museum (inv. no. 1799,0521.83.a).