The Muse of Love Poetry

Antique shell cameo with Erato & Eros in gold setting, around 1860

A woman in ancient garb sits, head resting in her hand, over her verses. Beside her leans a lyre, the instrument of the poets; at her feet sits a turtledove. It is Erato whom we see depicted here in fine cut, the Greek muse of love poetry. Erato's name shares its origin with that of the god of love. Eros, or Cupid, is also seen here. With an outstretched hand he pours an oil into a burning lamp, thus keeping the fire of love blazing, inspiring Erato, brooding over her text, to write new poetry. Both figures of Greek mythology are depicted here together in a scene that springs entirely from the imagination of the 19th century, when ancient motifs and stories were interpreted in the spirit of one's own time. The shell cameo with the unusual motif was probably carved near Naples, where it was acquired as a souvenir in the 19th century. The figures stand out brightly against the rosy ground and are thus reminiscent of the sculptures of antiquity, which at that time people were still convinced had always been radiant white. In the home country of the traveller(s), a gold setting was then made for the cameo in order to make it a wearable testimony to classical education - and perhaps also to provide a precious frame for a gift of love.

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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.