Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Cameo - Venus in a Chariot

Venus in a Chariot

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved shell

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR4

Shell cameos are much easier to cut than those made from gemstones. Also, the raw material is cheaper and easier to acquire. They were popular in the 16th century and then again in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the passion for carved gemstones led to a parallel explosion in the market for cheaper shell cameos. They are still popular today. Venus, the Roman goddess of love, is shown with her traditional attributes, a pair of doves, who help to draw her chariot. The shape of the cameo suggests it may have been used to decorate the top of a box.

Physical description

Chell cameo of epicting Venus, reclining in her chariot amid clouds; around her flows a light drapery and in front are two doves billing.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved shell


Height: 3 in, Width: 4.5 in

Object history note

Bought from Mrs R.A.L. Noel.

Descriptive line

Shell cameo, perhaps from the lid of a box, of Venus in a chariot, French, ca. 1750





Subjects depicted

Fertility; Birds; Chariots (ancient vehicles); Love; Beauty




Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.