Walking lion

probably Italian

Not on view

Cameos displaying animals, a mainstay of ancient Roman glyptics revived by Neoclassical engravers, filled the cabinets of European royalty. Particularly fetching is the way the carver of the leopard capitalized on brownish flecks in the stone to give the beast its spots. The grinning recumbent lion shows a fine contrast of matte and polished surfaces. The carver of the walking lion nearly exhausted the stone’s red layer when forming the tail.

Walking lion, Sardonyx, mounted in gold as a ring, probably Italian

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