Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Sardonyx cameo of a double capricorn with a portrait of the emperor Augustus

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
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166
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.
Said to be from Egypt

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1948. Roman Portraits, 2nd edn. p. 25, p. ii, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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

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

Milleker, Elizabeth J. 2000. The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West no. 48, pp. 59, 61, 206, New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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

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

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

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

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