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Lot 306 - Auction 86

Price realized:
11.000,00 GBP

A very fine agate cameo by G.A. Girardet, set in a gold brooch. Eros with a Panoplia.

19th century

cameo: 30 x 35 mm ; 29.38 gr

Giorgio Antonio Girardet was born in Rome the 2nd July 1829 to Anthony John, and Clotilde Pochon. He then undertook the art of engraving at Bonfiglio Zaccagnini, engraver of the Mint under Pius IX, and subsequently he began to carve hard stones at the atelier of engravers Antonio Odelli and Tommaso Saulini. The collaboration, started through Odelli, with the famous goldsmiths Castellani was long and fruitful. Among the works commissioned by them, and which are often identifiable because they are marked by the artist’s signature (as well as by the engraving of the double «C» on the bottom layer of the stone). He also had a good reputation as portrait engraver: in 1874 in fact the G. is reported as «graveur de camées, spécialiste de portraits» in via Margutta, n. 53 B. In the cameos iconographic repertoire of G. (signed usually ”G.A Girardet F.”), which belonged to a now limited group of hardstones engravers still active in Rome in the second half of the 19th century, such as Tommaso Saulini, Antonio Odelli , Pietro Girometti, Giovanni Liberotti, Giovanni Dies, Paolo Neri, Carlo Civilotti, are often present, in addition to mythological subjects and motifs taken from the ancient, motifs taken from the works of modern sculptors such as Bertel Thorvaldsen. This beautiful two-layers agate cameo, signed G.A. GIRARDET, is carved with great skill and elegance in a very high-relief. Cupid, represented frontally, is wearing the helmet of Mars, too large for his tender curly-headed boy. Love plays with the weapons of the god of war. Love is preparing himself for a new love battle. The small erote holds with his arms the heavy crested helmet with, masterfully sculpted almost in the round with undercut. Cupid turns his head slightly to the left and maintains a serene and smiling air despite the effort. The figure is above the shield and rests a knee pointed on the ground as a support. Behind him, the sword, which binds to itself with the bandage attached to the scabbard. This image is highly emblematic, of great impact and beauty, engraved with skill. Slight chipping over the helmet, otherwise perfect condition. The stone is mounted in a splendid gold frame, referable to the Castellani atelier with spherical or interwoven decorations, delicately arranged in a radial pattern.

Parallels: Fondo Castellani, Bi-blioteca, b. 201/9; Relazione di G.A. Girardet (incisore in pietre dure) letta all'assemblea generale del 25 genn. 1874, Roma 1874; Mostra di Roma nell'Ottocento (catal.), Roma 1932, p. 154; E. Kris, Catalogue of the Milton Weil Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of arts, Wien 1932, n. 21, tav. XXXIX; G. Umani, in Numismatica, IX-XI (1943-45), p. 65; A. Jandolo, Antiquaria, Milano 1947, pp. 190-193; R. Righetti, Incisori di gemme e cammei in Roma, Roma s.d. (ma 1952), pp. 63, 85; L. Pirzio Biroli Stefanelli, Cammei per casa Savoia: i ritratti di G.A. G., in Strenna dei romanisti, LVIII (1997), pp. 509-516; Id., Del cammeo e dell'incisione in pietre dure e tenere nella Roma del XIX secolo, in Arte e artigianato nella Roma di Belli.Atti… Fondazione Marco Besso, Roma 1998, p. 24; L. Forrer, A Biographical Dictionary of medaillists…, II, London 1904, p. 272; VII, ibid. 1923, p. 163; G.C. Bulgari, Argentieri, gemmari e orafi d'Italia, I, 1, Roma 1958, p. 547. Et Alia.

European private collection. Formerly from the collection of R.E. (1903-1976).


Lot status:
Auction closed