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Post Lot Text
A CARVED OVAL SARDONYX CAMEO BUST OF A BEARDED WARRIOR, PERHAPS PYRRHUS, KING OF EPIRUS (BC 318-272)
His crested helmet surmounted by a crouching sphinx and embossed with a fight between a lion and a snake, cloak over his corselet centred on a Hercules mask, facing in profile to the right; in an oval gold mount applied to a banded agate ground within an associated octagonal gilt-bronze frame with leaf moulding bordered with espagnolettes linked by acanthus scrolls
The present cameo is indentical with an intaglio signed by Brown (William or Charles Brown) and dated 1769 in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. The identification with Pyrrhus is confirmed by R.E. Raspe and James Tassie, A Descriptive Catalogue of a General Collection of Ancient and Modern Engraved Gems...cast by J. Tassie (London, 1791) no. 9762.