The cow eyed Hera

Antique agate cameo as brooch in gold, Germany around 1900

Ideals of beauty change over the course of time. What was desirable a few centuries ago sometimes no longer seems relevant today. In classicism, for example, a healthy complexion was a sign of poverty; a pale complexion alone was considered beautiful. In the Baroque era, Peter Paul Rubens set the framework for the ideal of beauty of his era with his portraits of plump ladies seeking to convince with rich body fat, where today the Western world hungers for slimness. But as ideals change, so do compliments. Today, calling a lady a "cow" is considered unflattering. In classical antiquity, the valuation of the dairy animal in relation to the fair sex was entirely different. Thus, one of the epithets of Hera, one of the most important goddesses of the Olympian heaven of gods, is "the cow-eyed one" and this was definitely meant as a compliment. Because cows sometimes have really beautiful eyes! Our cameo, cut from two-colored layered stone, shows Hera (Juno in Greek), who in ancient times had the task of watching over marriage and childbirth. It is recognizable by her typical hair ornament, a kind of diadem, which is stuck in her rich hair and which distinguishes her as a married woman. The conception of the head of the goddess radiates the elegant neo-classicism of those years. The finely crafted openwork framing of gold provides a setting for this that is both elegant and fitting, making it wearable as a brooch. An interesting piece of jewelry from the mythical world of Greek antiquity in grandiose implementation of the penultimate turn of the century. Do you also know a lady with eyes as beautiful as those of a cow? Then you have found a suitable gift here!

In the 19th century, the technical and scientific development of Europe had made historical science the leading discipline of the time. New excavations in Italy opened up previously unknown epochs of European history, and the early civilizations in particular experienced a previously unknown interest. In Italy, the Etruscans in particular were rediscovered and their arts and crafts became known beyond the country's borders. Beyond the narrow confines of the university, the citizens of the European states also became enthusiastic about the new discoveries and sought to own jewelry, furniture and custhandic crafts in these exciting new forms. In Rome, the Castellani firm became particularly famous in this context: Fortunato Pio Castellani and his sons explored the Etruscans and were soon offering first-class jewelry for the crowned heads of the continent, incorporating the formal language of these early inhabitants of the Italic peninsula. But their work, which quickly became known as "archaeological style," was also received with interest in Germany, where it was fused with the forms of their own history.

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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.


OUR PROMISE

We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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