Henig, M, PhD thesis on engraved gems, plate 304
Miclea, I, The Column, Cluj, 1971, p.114, pl.LXVI
List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington, Acquired During the Year 1874, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O. p. 20.
Chalcedony cameo fragment depicting Nike, Roman, ca. 106 AD
Height: 7 cm, Width: 4.8 cm, Depth: 2.5 cm, Weight: 0.08 kg
Medieval and Renaissance, room 64
This is a fragment from a large cameo which would have been made to celebrate the victories of the Emperor Trajan who conquered Dacia and acquired Arabia in AD 106.
Bought from the Webb collection
Historical significance: Described by Martin Henig as a very fine piece. Although he felt the inscription had been added in the Renaissance he did not question the association with the Dacian wars and suggests an interesting parallel for the Nike could be found on Trajan's column. This would appear to be the Nike half way up the column at the connecting point between the two wars in the narration, where her figure appears inscribing the honours of the wars on a shield. A comparable Nike found in Lullingstone can be found in Henig's PhD thesis on engraved gems.
Fragment of a large chalcedony cameo depicting the winged figure of Nike grasping her shield. The figure is present from the mid-thighs up, the upper part of her body naked and her hair dressed on top of her head. She strides to the left and turns her head to the right. Mounted in a plain gold band round the edges with a ring for suspension.
This fragment is all that remains of what would have been a much larger cameo made to celebrate an important Roman imperial victory. The figure is Nike, the Roman goddess of victory. The inscription on her shield, which may have been added after the cameo was carved, refers to the emperor Trajan’s conquest of Dacia and acquisition of Arabia in AD 106.
In a cameo, the image stands proud of the surface. Large and important pieces like this one were produced by highly skilled Roman cameo engravers and prized by their owners as symbols of status and power.