Southern Italian, probably Sicily, circa 1220-1240 | Cameo with a lioness
Southern Italian, probably Sicily, circa 1220-1240
Cameo with a lioness
chalcedony, within a later ring mount
cameo: 12.9mm., 0.51in.
17.7 by 0.70in. overall.
ring size: S 1/2
Overall the condition of the cameo is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is a very small drilled hole in each of the short sides: the stone may have been mounted as a pendant. There is natural speckling to the stone. Minor surface abrasions. General wear to the later ring mount and an original joint where the head of the ring fits to the ring itself.
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.
This beautiful little cameo is one of the small group of engraved gems carved in the court of Frederick II Hohenstaufen. Several similar cameos with lions exists, but the present representation of a lioness appears to be particularly rare. For Frederician cameos with lions see the circa 1230 example which is set on the King David Statuette in the Historisches Museum, Basel (published in Kahsnitz, op. cit., vol. 5, p. 499, fig. 378). Another similar lion cameo from the same period is in the Hermitage, St Petersburg (also illustrated in Kahsnitz, op. cit., vol. 5, p. 500, fig. 379a). Frederick's gem engravers depicted a range of animals, including wolves and horses. Note in particular the cameo with a leopard in the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen (illustrated in Giuliano, op. cit., p. 178, no. 42).
R. Kahsnitz, Die Zeit der Staufer, Stuttgart, 1977, vol. 5., pp. 477-520; A. Giuliano (ed.), Studi Normanni e Federiciani, Rome, 2003; J. D. Draper, 'Cameo Appearances,' The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, March 8–January 29, 2005, pp. 18-19, no. 30