Posted 5 years ago
I like whiskers on kittens as much as the next person, but this is another of my favorite things. Forgotten in a safe deposit box, it was auctioned by the State of Texas and has it all: gold!; diamonds!; pearls!; enamel (bit of loss to this)! There is an empty glazed memento compartment on the back. Best of all, this delicious hardstone cameo of a maenad/bacchante, thyrsus over her shoulder, tantalizing a putto with a juicy bunch of grapes. It is signed L. ROSI for Luigi Rosi, who worked in Rome in the mid-nineteenth century.
The majority of cameo images appear repeatedly, and cameo cutters like Rosi often copied earlier work. In this case, I have not been able to find this scene elsewhere, so there is the possibility it is his own composition in the neoclassical style. Certainly someone felt it was worthy of a particularly lavish setting.