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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1981M563
Collection:Applied Art - Jewellery
Date:1880 c - 1880 c

Maker Information

Carver:Luigi Saulini - View biography for Luigi Saulini
Jeweller:John Brogden - View biography for John Brogden
Or:Tommaso Saulini - View biography for Tommaso Saulini


Cameos with mythological subjects were in great demand in the 19th Century and were greatly prized works of art. This gem cameo is set in a gold mount and was made by the London jeweller John Brogden c1880. The original box shows Brogden as a gold medallist at International Exhibitions with exhibits of this quality. This piece was donated by Mrs Hull Grundy, an avid collector of jewellery, who made several donations from her collection to a variety of museums around the country. She regarded this jewel as one of the most prestigious in her Birmingham collection. It is thought to depict Phaeton the son of Apollo and the nymph Clymene. Phaeton's friends did not believe that his father was a god. So he visited Apollo and pleaded with him to help him to prove his parentage by letting him take control of the Chariot of the Sun. However, as Phaeton was a great deal lighter than the mighty Sun God, he struggled to keep the horses on course and he flew too high, burning the heavens and then too low, causing damage to the Earth. The Cameo shows the strong horses out of control along with the dropped torch representing the burning Sun.

Presented by Mrs Anne Hull Grundy, 1981.

Further Information

Production Period:19th Century
Medium:Gem cameo, mounted in gold.
Material(s):Semi precious stone
Place of Origin:London, England


Height:6.5 cm
Width:4.5 cm