A ROMAN CHROMIUM CHALCEDONY CAMEO
A ROMAN CHROMIUM CHALCEDONY CAMEO

CIRCA LATE 1ST CENTURY B.C.-EARLY 1ST CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN CHROMIUM CHALCEDONY CAMEO
CIRCA LATE 1ST CENTURY B.C.-EARLY 1ST CENTURY A.D.
Oval in form, carved with a facing bust of a Julio-Claudian prince in high relief, his head turned slightly to his left, with prominent ears, his wavy locks combed forward, fringing his forehead, wisps incised before each ear, his convex unarticulated eyes with thick lids, his nose aquiline, the chin prominent; mounted as a ring in a modern gold setting, the bezel encircled with cabochon rubies
15/16 in. (2.3 cm.) long; ring size 7
Provenance
Charlotte Goldsmith (d. 1989), Oregon, acquired circa 1964.
American Private Collection; Sotheby's, New York, 5 December 2007, lot 99.

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Molly Morse Limmer
Molly Morse Limmer

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Lot Essay

Identifying the youthful princes of the Julio-Claudian dynasty is always difficult, even more so in small-scale depictions. As Rose informs (p. xvii in Dynastic Commemoration and Imperial Portraiture in the Julio-Claudian Period), "Most of the portraits were idealized in an apparent attempt to foster the impression of a uniform dynastic identity, and there has been considerable debate regarding the identification of many of the types."
For related cameo portraits compare two thought to be of Caius Caesar, both in carnelian, nos. C4 and C5 in Megow, Kameen von Augustus bis Alexander Severus. For a sardonyx cameo thought to be Germanicus see no. C18, op. cit.; and for a carnelian cameo thought to be Drusus Major, see no. C11.
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