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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Masterpieces : Roman Cameo Depicting a Bust of a Roman Empress
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Roman Cameo Depicting a Bust of a Roman Empress - OS.053
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 100 AD to 300 AD
Dimensions: 1.25" (3.2cm) high x 1" (2.5cm) wide
Collection: Classical Antiquities

Location: Great Britain
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This carved, raised relief, known as a cameo, depicts an aristocratic Roman woman in a right profile view, so identified by her fashionable hairstyle. As cameos were expensive to produce, the woman depicted must have held some importance, possibly either an empress, member of the imperial family, or a well- known aristocrat. Being depicted in such a manner would have been a way of honouring her. The skill of the carver can be seen in the detailed rendering of the woman’s hair on such a small scale. The carving would be done in layers so as to produce a raised relief while carving around the relief to let the background colour of the glass or gem protrude to create a contrasting colour. - (OS.053)


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