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Italian

Medusa Cameo 16th c. Intaglio: late 18th c. Mount late 18th c.

RCIN 65761

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Obverse: cameo head of Medusa, sea nymph and most beautiful of the three Gorgon sisters, with wings and snakes in her hair, in three-quarter profile to the right. Reverse: intaglio head of Medusa, with wings in her hair and a snake around her neck, in profile to the right. The cameo with three-quarter view belongs to a 16th century type based on ancient prototypes. The intaglio is very different in treatment and style. The manner of rendering the head is extremely fine and classical. This suggests a date in the late 18th century and possibly an English provenance, the same period as the mount. Text adapted from Ancient and Modern Gems and Jewels in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, London, 2008