A Georgian coral carving circa 1820, set to a high carat gold brooch. The carving is a gryllus depiction of Silenus with attendant satyrs. Silenus in Greek myth was the tutor of the god of Wine, Dionysus. Here Silenus is depicted with fruiting vines in his hair, flanked by roaring satyrs. The name gryllus comes from the Latin meaning caricature. Grylli were derived from ancient paintings called capricci – co-joined grotesque figures with human and /or bestial features. They were believed to protect the wearer from harm. This carving measures one inch by 3/4 of an inch. An unusual subject, well executed and immaculate.
Silenus on a Greek vase