From the Renaissance to the early 19th century, the art of cameo carving reached unrivaled heights.
After that period, mass-produced examples came onto the market. By the early 1920s, most were created in shell (rather than hardstones) with inferior carving and often repetitive, decorative subject matters.
But breaking that mold is this fine hardstone agate cameo. Deep in its carving, and meticulous in craftsmanship, the sculptor utilized the varying colors of the natural material to its best advantage.
The image is a Roman victor or gladiator, with laurel leaf victor's headdress, wavy locks, armor, and stern expression.
Both highly polished surfaces, for the armor, the garland, as well as the background contrast with the textured surfaces of the skin.
This ring has a regal presence and is large and powerful in its scale. A 14k gold curved bezel holds the cameo and a sturdy shank tapers down toward the back. It is interesting to note that the gold work took its cues from Georgian rings of the period in its overall aesthetics.