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NON-IRISH ANTIQUITY : GIRONA FINDS

Object Name

Cameo, Necklace or Collar, Gold with Lapis Lazuli and Pearl

Description

One of a set of 12 lapis lazuli Cameos of Roman Emperors, set in Gold mounted with pearls. Remarkably this cameo was found many years after the original excavation by designated diver, Frank Madden, in 1998. 'seven of the blue lapis lazuli portraits survive, the other five are in varying states of preservation. the best preserved, almost in it's original condition, still bears at the sides its original complement of four pearls, held on a fine gold wire. At the top of each frame is a little grotesque mask; the shoulders supporting this have a little setting filled with green enamel. the actual cameos are backed by little oval plates of gold, held in place by little triangular teeth. The rings on the backs by which the cameos were connected to one another show that they were worn as a necklace or collar, one on top of the other, six on each side: the ring at the top lies along the long axis, while the ring at the bottom is at right angles to it. A certain controversy exists as to the identity of the Emperors represented: Robert Stenuit considers them to be Byzantine, including Michael first Rhangabe, Stauratius and Constantine second'. From Flanagan, L. (1988) Ireland's Armada Legacy, p.198

Materials

gold & pearls & lapis lazuli

Place Collected

Northern Ireland: County Antrim: Aird Td.: Lacada Point: Wreck of Girona
Wreck of Girona

Date Collected

1997
1997

Catalogue Number

BELUM.BGR.5.1

Copyright

National Museums NI. Purchased with the aid of grant from The Art Fund.