Netherlandish, late 15th century, Pendant with a cameo of St. Veronica. Estimate 2,500 — 3,500 GBP. Lot sold 11,250 GBP. Photo Sotheby's.
the case with a label inscribed: Collection: C.W. KING. 1865 Trinity college, Cambridge; agate, in a gold mount, in a cedar and ivory case lined with velvet; 5cm., 2in. overall
Provenance: Charles William King, London, until 1888
Note: King was a famed Cambridge gemmologist whose early reference works Antique Gems and Rings (1872) and A handbook of engraved gems (1866) were amongst the most respected scholarly works on the subject in the second half of the 19th century. During sojourns in Italy and on the London market King acquired 331 antique gems himself, most of which now form the core of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. This large cameo compares closely to a mother-of-pearl relief in the Hermitage (inv. no. K1638) and relies in part on contemporary prints such as Martin Schongauer's St. Veronica. The style of carving is echoed in a cameo with the Pieta illustrated by Scarisbrick (op.cit.).
Treasures of Catherine the Great, exh. cat. Somerset House, London, 2000, p. 108, no. 149; D. Scarisbrick et al., The art of gem engraving. From Alexander the Great to Napoleon III, exh. cat. Hakone Open Air Museum and Fukuoka City Museum, Fukuoka, 2008, no. 215
Sotheby's. Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art, London, 09 Jul 2015