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Cameo - The Sacrifice of Isaac

The Sacrifice of Isaac

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Shell, with wax restoration

  • 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. The scene is taken from the Old Testament story in which God tests Abraham’s loyalty and obedience. It shows Abraham before a ritual altar, about to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Shell, with wax restoration

Object history note

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

Descriptive line

Shell cameo depicting the sacrifice of Isaac, French, ca. 1700





Subjects depicted

Angels; Knives (weapons)


Christianity; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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