O mighty Hercules!
Large antique agate cameo in gold as brooch, around 1870
Owning antique gems and cameos has been the passion and goal of all the princes of our continent for centuries. Every collection, large or small, from the Green Vault in Dresden to the treasury of Rudolf II and private collections such as that of Baron von Stosch or even Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, always had its own section for these witnesses of the past. It was above all the representations of ancient gods, heroes and emperors that attracted the interest of collectors. A glance at the face of Augustus bridges 2000 years in the blink of an eye, and all of a sudden the gods of Olympus are also very present. But the number of antique gems with beautiful representations was (and is!) naturally limited. The desire to be close to distant antiquity therefore soon led to the creation of a large number of new gems based on antique models. At the time of Goethe, for example, in the years around 1800, these stones were not regarded as forgeries, but as a supplement to the ancient tradition, and were valued for their own sake just as much as the ancient models. Here we have a magnificent, large and extraordinarily finely cut gem of Lagestone, which was created in the later 19th century and can stand comparison with the works of antiquity. In the shiny polished surface of the agate we see the detailed depiction of the ancient hero Hercules, carved out of the lagestone in an elevated position. The demigod, famous for his strength, is depicted with a powerful full beard. Numerous stories are entwined around his cleverness and strength, with which he mastered twelve actually impossible tasks imposed on him. Among other things, he had to conquer the Nemean lion, whose fur he wears here as a hood on his head. Hercules is regularly depicted with the lion's skin, which made him invulnerable when he wore it as a cloak. We reproduce enclosed a statue of the hero made in the 1st century A.D., with corresponding attribute. It is now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, inv. no. 03.12.14. The brooch sets the agate in high karat gold. The goldsmith has placed a movable chain as an ornament around the actual setting - perhaps a reference to the power of the hero whose deeds broke the bonds of imagination? What could go wrong with a Hercules as a faithful companion?
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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.