A roman impression in golden blue glass. Hercules and Omphale.
33 x 47 x 9 mm
In the foreground, the bust of Hercules crowned with ivy with the leonte on its shoulders; behind, Omphale. Both are facing left. The very fine Roman cameo in onyx, from which this cast impression was formerly drawn, belongs to the Medicea collection of Florence (inv. N. 14498) and already described in the inventories in 1736 (table XXVIII, 10), and later in 1786 under the n. 1455 as "Onice. Due teste sovrapposte rappresentanti Ercole coronato d'Ellera e Onfale". In 1799 the cameo is described as "Onyx. Two busts jugati , one of Hercules bearded with the crown of ellera and the skin of lion on the shoulders, the other of Onfale ....... the stone is highly valuable for the subtlety of the execution and for the different layers that compose it, since the beard, the hair, the crown and the skin of Hercules are in a sardonic color that is a little different from the bottom, the remainder of a white tending to blue ". The cameo is also reproduced in Zannoni (Cammei and Intagli, s. V, table 43, 4) and is present in the repertoire of plaster cast impressions Cades (III A, n. 63) and of the Barsanti factory. The impression is very intense blue glass, covered with a thin gilding, and to be considered ancient and taken from the original; also perfectly appears the raised border which very closely surrounds the two busts ("around the same blue layer"). Both on the reverse and on the recto of the impression are visible signs of ancient wear and patina deposits. Chipping on the edge. Specimen of great rarity. Private collection J. T. since 1958, UK. For further information: Antonio Giuliano, I Cammei from the Medici Collection of the Archaeological Museum of Florence, p. 189 n. 81.
1st-2nd century AD.