Zeus of Otricoli
A bold and strong cameo carving circa 1870. The Horned Helmet shell carving depicts Zeus, King of the Gods, front facing aloft an eagle, his sacred bird. It is within an ouroboros surround and set silver. The carving is after the Zeus of Otricoli, an ancient Roman bust found in Otricoli in 1775 during the excavation financed by Pope Pius VI. It is on display in the Sala Rotonda of the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum. The bust is presumed to be a Roman copy of a Hellenistic original. The brooch measures 2 inches by 1 and 3/4 inches. Skilful carving in three strata capturing the sense of the eagle about to take flight. Immaculate.