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Sardonyx cameo portrait of the emperor Augustus in an ancient gold setting

Period:
Early Imperial, Augustan
Date:
ca. 27 B.C.–A.D. 14
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Sardonyx, gold
Dimensions:
H. 1 1/8 in. (2.8 cm)
Classification:
Gems
Credit Line:
Gift of Milton Weil, 1929
Accession Number:
29.175.4
  • Description

    The cameo bears a medallion with a portrait of Augustus supported on the horns of a double-headed goat. The imagery represents the constellation Capricorn, which was adopted by the Emperor Augustus as his own lucky star sign and was used as an imperial symbol on such things as coins and legionary standards.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1948. Roman Portraits, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1949. "Glyptic Portraits of the late Republic and early Empire in the Metropolitan Museon." Hommages à Joseph Bidez et à Franz Cumont. Brussels: Latomus, revue d'études latines, p. 300.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1956[1920]. Catalogue of Engraved Gems of the Classical Style: Greek Etruscan, and Roman. Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider, no. 649, p. 130, pl. 73.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 2006[1920]. Catalogue of Engraved Gems of the Classical Style: Greek Etruscan, and Roman, 2nd edn. Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider, no. 649, p. 130, pl. 73.

    Zwierlein-Diehl, Erika. 2007. Antike Gemmen und ihr Nachleben. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co, p. 431, fig. 605.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 385, pp. 333, 482.

    Draper, James David. 2008. "Cameo Appearances." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 65(4): p. 14, fig. 19.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
253042

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