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Cameo - Adam and Eve
  • Adam and Eve
    Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528
  • Enlarge image

Adam and Eve

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (probably, made)
    France (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1580 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved shell (Spondylus)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • 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. This cameo depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The serpent climbing the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is central to the scene. The composition is loosely based on an engraving by Albrecht Dürer.

Place of Origin

Germany (probably, made)
France (possibly, made)


ca. 1580 (made)


Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Carved shell (Spondylus)

Object history note

Given by Dr W.L Hildburgh, F.S.A.

Descriptive line

Shell cameo of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by the Tree of Knowledge, German or French, c. 1580





Subjects depicted

Evil; Tree of Knowledge; Temptation; Snake (animal)


Sculpture; Christianity


Sculpture Collection

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