Cameo with portrait busts of an Imperial Julio-Claudian couple
White on brown layered sardonyx.
Mid-1st century CE.
4.8 × 4.3 cm.
Inv. No. 98.754.Boston, Museum of Fine Arts

Cameo with portrait busts of an Imperial Julio-Claudian couple.

White on brown layered sardonyx.
Mid-1st century CE.
4.8 × 4.3 cm.
Inv. No. 98.754.

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts.

By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (said to have been found in Egypt, in the Fayoum, and then to have been in the Giovanni di Demetrio Collection);
1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 273;
1898: with Edward Perry Warren;
1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940).
White on brown layered sardonyx. Cameo. Two busts of a Julio-Claudian couple side-by-side; they are carved in very high relief. The man is wreathed and garbed in a toga, the edge of which is pulled over his head in an attitude of piety. He resembles portraits of the descendants (known as the “Julio-Claudians”) of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. The woman is garbed in the stola and under-tunic. Her hair is arranged in waves spreading from a central part; small curls appear below the wave on her forehead. Heavy ringlets fall over her shoulders. She also wears a wreath. The exact identities of these Imperial family members are not certain, but possibilities include Nero and Octavia, Claudius and Messalina or Agrippina, or Caligula and Drusilla. There is a chip in the lower edge of the gem, below the woman’s right shoulder.
(cc) 2019. Photo, text: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (CC0 1.0).
Keywords: gemma glyptics gem gems glittica gliptica gemme glyptik glyptique roman romana romano romani römische römischer romain romaine καμέα κάμερες cameo cameos cammeo cammei kamee camée kameo απεικόνιση portrait portraiture ritratto ritrattistica porträtmalerei porträt of a woman female femminile donna weibliches frau de femme carved anaglifico intagliato handgeschnitzt man male maschile uomo männliches mann masculin un homme römisches αυτοκρατορικό imperial imperiale kaiserliches impérial ιουλιο-κλαυδιανή δυναστεία iulio-claudia iulii-claudii julii-claudii the julio-claudian dynasty dinastia giulio-claudia julisch-claudische dynastie famille julio-claudienne julio-claudiens ρωμαίος αυτοκράτορας γάιος καλιγούλας imperator caius caligula emperor gaius caesar imperatore gaio cesare caligola kaiser empereur ιουλία δρουσίλλα iulia julia drusilla re567 giulia κλαύδιος claudius i claudio claude βαλερία μεσσαλίνα valeria messalina empress imperatrice kaiserin impératrice messaline αγριππίνα η νεότερη agrippina minor re556 younger minore die jüngere agrippine la jeune νέρων νέρωνας nero nerone néron κλαυδία οκταβία claudia octavia neronis ottavia octavie hairdo hairstyle pettinatura acconciatura weibliche frisur coiffure féminine θηλυκό χτένισμα sardonyx sardonica sardoine corona laurea laurel wreath di alloro laureata lorbeerkranz couronne lauriers δάφνινο στεφάνι capite velato caput velatum veiled with covered head protruding ears orecchie sporgenti alla sventola hervorstehende ohren oreilles décollées inv no 98.754