Necklace with Cameo Pendant

Unknown250 - 400

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The chalcedony cameo of this gold necklace shows facing busts of a man and a woman, an unusual arrangement on cameo gems. The woman's hairstyle dates the cameo to the mid-250s A.D.

Although now part of a pendant, the cameo was originally a decorative pin or brooch, since there are the remains of a hinge and a catchplate on the back. The cameo is set in an openwork frame with four garnets in oval box settings. Each of the four openwork areas between the garnets has a different pattern, displaying variations on the openwork decoration that was extremely popular in the 200s and 300s A.D.

The chain of the necklace is ropelike, and the hook-and-eye clasp is decorated with a leaf-shaped plate. The use of leaf plates is found on other chains of this period but usually on both elements of the clasp, not just on one side.

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  • Title: Necklace with Cameo Pendant
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 250 - 400
  • Location Created: Roman Empire
  • Physical Dimensions: 4.4 x 55.4 cm (1 3/4 x 21 13/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gold, garnet, and chalcedony cameo
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Pendant
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 83.AM.225.2
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 212, Coins, Gems and Jewelry
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Roman
  • Classification: Jewelry