A George III Period Grand Tour Hardstone Cameo of Tiberius c.1800-25

Origin: Italian
Period: Early 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800-25
Height: 1”
Width: 0.75”

The finely carved Georgian grand tour hardstone cameo, depicting the emperor Tiberius (Claudius Nero), crisply modelled facing sinister wearing a red tinted laurel wreath to a pearled base, the whole wrapped in the original notation paper inscribed with quilled ink ‘Tiberius reigned 23 years’, and marked with a number 3. to verso and to the paper, the whole surviving from the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

The condition is largely good with the original paper notation and one area of loss to the upper edging of the mount as photographed.

This particular image of Tiberius is very similar to the one seen on a Paris (Darte) Porcelain Roman Emperor Cameo Plate for the same emperor made in 1820.

Intaglios were originally used as seals. These carvings or cuttings are moulded out of white plaster, marble dust or wax. The original 19th century intaglios were also made from wood or stone. The depressed designs depicting ancient scenes and figures from Greece and Italy. In particular, they were also used as markers for land. They were also collected as souvenirs from European Grand Tours in the first half of the 19th century.

Many of the plaster intaglios were mounted into books and each medallion was numbered and documented with handwritten numbered notations telling which city or which attraction they had visited, so it is nice to see this example with the original paper notation, it being hardstone. Popular in the neoclassical period, and once regarded as a signal of wealth, Intaglios have been admired for hundred of years.

The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage. The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance as well as the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent.,

Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus was the second Roman emperor. He reigned from AD 14 until 37, succeeding his stepfather, the first Roman emperor Augustus. Tiberius was born in Rome in 42 BC. Tiberius had a brilliant military career and with his younger brother Drusus helped carry out the expansion of the Roman empire along the Danube and into modern day Germany(16 BC - 7 BC, 4 AD - 9 AD).

Ready to be mounted into a dazzling ring or any other type of jewellery for that matter, or simply eft to admire in a cabinet of curios.