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Mounted in ebonised and gilt metal frames in the 19th century, this pair of 8in (20cm) plaques above comprises 10 carved hardstone cameos depicting scenes from the Labours of Hercules. They are thought to date from the late 17th or the early 18th century.

The pair carries an estimate of £3000-5000 at the sale titled Five Centuries at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on February 5.

lyonandturnbull.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com


Shown above is a 2nd or 3rd century Roman ring including a finely carved amethyst intaglio recounting the Greek mythological tale of Leda and the Swan. This particular depiction is one that is also known from a fresco at Pompeii.

Previously part of a British private collection formed in the last quarter of the 20th century, it comes to auction at Pax Romana in London on February 1 with a £3000-4000 estimate.

paxromana.auction or see this item on thesaleroom.com