Lava cameo of Cibele (Cybele)

Italian
about 1860


Dimensions

Overall: 4 x 3.3 x 0.8 cm (1 9/16 x 1 5/16 x 5/16 in.)

Accession Number

2012.535

Medium or Technique

Lava

Not On View

Collections

Europe, Jewelry

Classifications

Cameos

This unmounted cameo is a high-relief, profile bust of the goddess Cibele (Cybele), an Anatolian goddess. Purchased by Edward Gleason (1829-1863?), son of Boston silversmith Roswell Gleason and Rebecca Vose Gleason, during a honeymoon visit to Italy where lava cameos were popular souvenir items available at Pompeii. They were often bought unmounted to be set by local jewelers back in the U.S.

Markings

"Cibele" in engraved cursive script on reverse

Provenance

20th century, purchased by Edward Gleason in Italy and given to Mrs. Frank Bowker; late 1960's, gift of Mrs. Frank Bowker to her great-niece, Elizabeth C. Heide, Marblehead, MA; 2012, gift of Elizabeth C. Heide to the MFA. (Accession date: September 26, 2012)

Credit Line

Gift of Elizabeth C. Heide in memory of Mrs. Frank Bowker