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Cameo - Christ in Majesty

Christ in Majesty

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (made)

  • Date:

    1570 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Shell cameo

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 2, shelf 3

An intaglio carving is cut into the surface of the material and a cameo is in relief. The art of gemstone carving was known in ancient Greece and Rome and revived in Renaissance Italy, when connoisseurs began to form rich collections of engraved stones. Shell cameos, which were cheaper and more easily worked, became fashionable in the 19th century. Many were bought by tourists as souvenirs.

Physical description

Shell cameo depicting our Saviour in glory seated on a rainbow.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (made)


1570 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Shell cameo

Marks and inscriptions

Signature; Unknown; dated 1570


Height: 1.625 in, Width: 3.75 in

Descriptive line

Shell cameo depicting Christ in Majesty, Nuremberg, dated 1570.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ritchie, Carson I. A. Shell carving : history and techniques South Brunswick, A. S. Barnes, [1974], p. 196.
Tait, Hugh. Catalogue of the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum. London : Published for the Trustees of the British Museum by British Museum Press, c1986-, Vol 3 'The Curosities', pp.123-126 & fig. 146.
Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1859. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 5



Subjects depicted

Christianity; Rainbow


Christianity; Religion


Sculpture Collection

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