- Museum number
White-shell cameo of Vulcan's Forge after Algardi shows Vulcan forging the armour of Aeneas at the request of Venus. Unmounted, perhaps intended for a box lid.
- Production date
Width: 7.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no 859:
Dr Jennifer Montagu has pointed out that this composition is taken from a lost relief by Alessandro Algardi (1598-1654), now known from a nearly contemporary inventory description dated 1686. The relief seems to have been widely known; its appearance is recorded in a still-life painting (by Christoforo Munari, now in the Museo del Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence), where it is shown as a cast. Later versions than this cameo are known, for example , a rare Wedgwood plaque in black basalt (Sotheby's, 7 July 1969, lot 18, ill.). In spite of the Italian origin of the composition there is no reason to doubt the German workmanship of the cameo. A long tradition of shell-carving existed in Germany, going back to the sixteenth century (see 856 and 858). The cameos were used for the decoration of boxes, caskets, cabinets, ornamental dishes and standing cups for the Kunstkammer, or treasure house, the assembling of which was a peculiarly German taste. There are a number of parallels for this sculptural and vigorous style os shell-engraving, notably the group from the Hull Grundy gift to Kenwood (see Hull Grundy[Kenwood House] 1976) which are described as 'Possibly Neapolitan, 19th century', but are almost certainly of a contemporary date to this 'Vulcan's Forge', and possibly from the same place of origin. (Charlotte Gere).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.710 (masterlist number)