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


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.