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Victorian Dionysus/Bacchus Cameo Brooch

$1,200.00

Victorian Dionysus/Bacchus Cameo Brooch

$1,200.00


Description

DATE: Victorian, c.1880

Dionysus (known to the Romans as Bacchus) was the principle deity of one of the many mystery cults. He made his way into Roman culture - along with many others - through Greek mythology Believed to have been born from the union of Zeus and Persephone, representing the chthonic or underworld aspect of Zeus. The cult focused on rebirth, as exemplified through the seasonal growth of nature, but also of revelation through ecstasy (aided by wine, music and ecstatic dance). It became popular and well-organised throughout the central and southern Italian peninsula, thought to have been brought over around 200 BC, eventually even threatening the Senate who, in 186 BC, attempted to control their size, organisation, and priesthoods, under threat of the death penalty.

The Bacchanalia was the main rite associated with the worship of Dionysus/Bacchus. These revelries were characterised by maniacal dancing to crashing symbols and music played as loud as possible. The participants - Baccanti - screamed, writhed, whirled, and imbibed, frantically trying to achieve such an extreme state of ecstasy that their souls were temporarily freed from the earthly bodies enabling direct commune with Bacchus himself; a tantalising glimpse of what they would go on to experience in eternity.

The brooch pictured is a large cameo representation of Dionysus/Bacchus, intricately detailed with pinecones and grape leaves and vines in his hair. The brooch is crafted in silver and dates from the latter half of the 19th century, circa 1880. A good big size at 2 inches across.

MEASUREMENTS 

5.1 x 5.1cm

WEIGHT 

23.5g

MARKS 

No marks present, tests as silver

CONDITION 

Very good, with fine antique patina

Victorian DionysusBacchus Cameo Brooch Victorian DionysusBacchus Cameo Brooch Victorian DionysusBacchus Cameo Brooch Victorian DionysusBacchus Cameo Brooch Victorian DionysusBacchus Cameo Brooch

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