Necklace with Cameo Pendant

Unknowncameo about A.D. 250; pendant about A.D. 379–395

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

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.


  • Title: Necklace with Cameo Pendant
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: cameo about A.D. 250; pendant about A.D. 379–395
  • Location Created: Roman Empire
  • Physical Dimensions: 4.4 cm (1 3/4 in.)
  • Type: Pendant
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gold, garnet, and chalcedony cameo
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.AM.225.2
  • Culture: Roman
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Jewelry

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