Grand Tour Cased Set of Neoclassical Cameo Seals c1840
A superb set of Grand Tour cast plaster cameos depicting famous art works from European museums, especially in Rome. Each cameo is meticulously detailed and the figures in the vignettes are graceful, beautifully rendered. Collected in the original display case during a Grand Tour in the 19th century. There are 25 individual cameo seals including portraits of ancient gods and goddesses and vignettes of their stories, all in their original painted wood case with a sliding glass panel. Remnants of the original embossed paper decorations remain on the frame. The sliding mechanism works well. Each cameo is framed in gold paper and inlaid in properly sized ovals for display. All the cameos are in excellent condition. The surface is worn on the wooden frame, with missing paper embellishment and areas of worn-off paint. The cameos range in size from the tiny ones with about ¾” diameter to the large ones, about 2 3/8” X 2”. The case measures 11 ¼” X 7 ½” X 1 ¼”.
NOTE OF INTEREST: The Grand Tour era was between c1760 and 1840, although there is documentation referring to the Grand Tours beginning in the 16th centuries. The traditional Grand Tour was a trip all around Europe, and it could last as long as four years. Only the wealthy upper classes could afford Grand Tours. These tours were taken under the guise of acquiring culture, but they were more often than not a way of finding a young woman an appropriate husband, or removing a young person from an unfortunate emotional situation at home, or removing oneself from some legal frazzle at home. The major Grand Tour cities to visit were Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples.