Cameo with Livia holding a bust of Augustus (?)

Roman
Imperial Period
A.D. 14–37


Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 174-175.

Dimensions

Overall: 3.1 x 3.8 x 1.6 cm (1 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

99.109

Medium or Technique

Turquoise

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Cameos

Bust of Livia in the guise of Venus Genetrix, with closely clinging drapery slipping off her left shoulder. Beside her is a youthful male head, which must originally have belonged to a bust or full-length figure, alternately identified as a bust of the deified Augustus, or as one of her sons, Tiberius or Drusus I.

The cameo has been set into a modern setting. The lower part of the gem is damaged, and a portion of the original has clearly been lost.

Provenance

By the 18th century: Bessborough Collection; 18th century: Duke of Marlborough Collection; by 1875: David Bromilow collection; by 1899: collection of Mrs. Jary; 1899: with Christie, Manson & Woods, 8 King Street, St. James's Square, London (auction of the Marlborough Collection, June 26-29, 1899, lot 403); 1899: with Edward Perry Warren; 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 16,502.52 (this figure is the total price for MFA 99.101-99.119)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund