In the cloak of night

Antique shell cameo of Psyche mounted as a gold brooch, Italy & Great Britain c.1870


€ 2,190.00 *
Content 1 piece
Incl. VAT, Shipping
Antique shell cameo of Psyche mounted as a gold brooch, Italy & Great Britain c.1870
Antique shell cameo of Psyche mounted as a gold brooch, Italy & Great Britain c.1870
Description
This description was automatically translated from German. If you have any questions about this piece of jewellery, we will be happy to help!
In Ovid's Metamorphoses, the story of Cupid and Psyche takes a central role. It is about the mortal king's daughter Psyche, who is so beautiful that even Venus, the goddess of love, is enraged with envy. In her rage, Venus orders her son Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with a terrible man with one of his love arrows. But the young god of love takes pity on her, for he himself falls in love with her. Thus he abducts Psyche to a palace, where he comes to visit her only in the dead of night, under the condition that she must never see him or search for him. Like many of those stories, this one takes a tragic turn, but ends in Psyche's admission to Olympus, where she finally finds happiness with Cupid at her side. The story of the two lovers has always inspired art, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, when artists such as Bouguereau or sculptors such as Canova and Reinhold Begas depicted various scenes. Here, Psyche is identified by her attribute, the butterfly wings, because her name in the Greek language not only stands for the soul, but also denotes the butterfly. The present shell gem has also chosen Psyche as its subject. It shows the winged king's daughter in an antique robe. With raised arms, she lifts a veil that seems to merge with the clouds behind her. Stars lace the firmament at her feet. Possibly this is to show the depiction, unusual in the field of gems, of Psyche's ascension to Olympus, whose summit also seemed to lie veiled by clouds in the sky. It is also conceivable that the nocturnal scene alludes to the stay in the palace, where Psyche and Cupid were only allowed to be united in the dark of night. The rare motif is set by a plain, narrow frame flanked on four sides by volute ornaments and mounted as a brooch. The gem is crafted in 15-karat gold, so we know that the gem, called "Psiche" on the reverse and carved in Italy, was set in Great Britain.
Read more
Size & Details
video
Antique shell cameo of Psyche mounted as a gold brooch, Italy & Great Britain c.1870
In the cloak of night
€ 2,190.00 *
Content 1 piece
Incl. VAT, Shipping
Our Promise
Our Promise
Our Promise

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos — this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.

Learn more