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SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
working fragments found in the treasuries of cathedrals, bishops, and kings, are often real antiques. Paste imitations of such gems even found places in sacred and royal utensils and ornaments. The ring in fig. 52 encloses a cornelian, on which is engraved the outline of a building, composed of a central tower and two lower wings, with indications of doorways. It represents the Temple of Venus at Paphos, which was a frequent subject with the Cypriotic artists. The reader may refer to a similar representation noticed in the account of a bronze disk, which is included in the chapter dealing with works of that material in this collection. One interesting example of ring represents the whole-length figure of a bull, with a star in the same position as that which appears in certain Cypriotic coins, where a horse is represented (fig. 53). The history of the coins of Cyprus, which is to be found further on, treats of other examples of the use of this emblem. The bull's action of pain and wrath is very finely represented.1 The execution is of excellent quality. Another finger-ring consists of a cornelian, with a draped female figure, holding a cornucopiǽ and a wreath. There is also a ring, which is similarly enriched by a cornelian, on which is engraved a winged and draped female figure, holding a palm and wreath. This is probably a Victory; the gem is doubtless Greek; the execution is not equal to the design. We are, therefore, led to suppose that the latter element was derived from a fine model; indeed, there are plenty of examples of the finest class which would have sufficed to supply what was wanted here. The execution was doubtless due to a provincial artist. The elements of the category of nondescript objects and parts of personal ornaments are numerous and various, and, in their several natures, curious. Among them is a cornelian, originally part of a finger-ring, which is engraved with a very spirited figure of a lion passant, with a ball or star above it, as on the above-named ring. The execution here is very rude, not to say primitive, and the artist seems to have been a provincial workman rather than a skilled goldsmith. Comprised in the group of beads from a tomb at Kitium is a scarabǽus of amethyst, and also a second scarabǽus of green stone, on the back of which is a winged figure in intaglio. Both of these relics are doubtless of Cypriotic manufacture. Attached to this group of objects is a rudely-shaped disk of massive gold, very like a button in its form, and perforated, so that it may have served as a bead of a necklace or bracelet. One face is blank, and shows signs of wear. On the other face are (fig. 54) deeply engraved in intaglio three dolphin-like figures, which are not unlike the bull-headed ear-rings mentioned above in the description of those objects in this collection. These figures are arranged like the spokes of a wheel revolving, and remind us of that
1 This bull is found on silver coins of Thurium, and is repeated on those of Augustus.
ancient heraldic bearing—the three legs borne on the shield of the Isle of Man. They are to be more closely associated with the very ancient cognizance of Trinacria, the Island of Sicily, in which there appears, at the meeting point of the legs, a human face with a grotesque expression. On the gold disk to which I refer are likewise represented three other objects, which resemble so many antique oars, disposed in the intervals of the so-called dolphins. This relic has occupied the close attention of those distinguished antiquaries, Dr. Birch, Signor Castellani, and Mr. Newton. In this class there are two little figures of noteworthy interest. The first represents (fig. 55) a nude female, at full length, standing erect, and in the act of arranging her hair, which, in long tresses, hangs behind her back. Between her feet is what appears to be the remnant of a figure of a dolphin. It is, doubtless, Venus Anadyomene, who is thus represented in gold, and by a rude sculptor of her native isle. The other figure is that of a cynocephalus, or ape, with exceptional emblems. The head of this figure is much injured (fig. 56). The figure resembles other examples of the same animal which exist among the terra-cotta objects in the collection, described below in the chapters on terra-cotta. Two or three small gold bottles of conical shape, and intended for pendants for necklaces, occur in this section of the body of relics before us. The same form is represented also in crystal among the objects which will be noticed hereafter. One of these gold bottles was found at Salamis. I
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