Cameo depicting Agrippa Postumus


Cameo depicting Agrippa Postumus

Roman, Julio-Claudian period, circa AD 37-41
English gold mounting set with semi precious stones from the 18th century
Camedo: H.: 3.6 cm. - W.: 3 cm. - D.: 0.4 cm. 


In the collection of William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough (1704-1793), Parkstead House, Roehampton, acquired before 1761.
Then in the collection of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough (1739-1817), Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, acquired from the former in around 1765. 
By descent in the same family until John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough (1822-1883), Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
Sold by Christie’s London, “The Marlborough Gems [...]”, 28 June – 1 July 1875, lot 392. 
Purchased by David Bromilow (1809-1898), Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire.
Passed down to his daughter Julia Harriet Mary Jary in 1898.
Sold by Christie’s London, “The Property of Mrs. Jary”, 26-29 June 1899, lot 392. 
Purchased by trader Francis E. Whelan (1848-1907) on behalf of Wyndham Francis Cook (1893-1905), London.
Passed down to his son Humphrey W. Cook (1893-1978), London.
Sold by Christie’s London, “[...] the Property of H. W. Cook, Esq.”, 14-16 July 1925, lot 65. 
Purchased by Spink & Son, London. 
In the collection of S. E. Lucas, Esq. (1883-1970), London. 
Sold by Christie’s London, “The Property of S.E. Lucas [...]”, 14 February 1961, lot 88. 
Purchased by H. E. Backer, London and Rome. 
Then in the collection of trader Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886-1965), Rome, and taken to Switzerland. 
Passed down within the family.


- L. Natter, Catalogue des pierres gravées, tant en relief, qu’en creux de Mylord Comte de Bessborough, London, 1761, p. 2, 4.
- J. Bryant, Gemmarum antiquarum delectus ex præstantioribus desumptus, quæ in dactyliothecus ducis Marlburiensis conservantur. Choix de pierres antiques gravées du cabinet du Duc de Marlborough, Vol. 1, London, 1783, 12.
- M. H. Nevil Story-Maskelyne, The Marlborough Gems. Being a Collection of Works in Cameo and Intaglio Formed by George, Third Duke of Marlborough, 1870, p. 68, no. 392.
- The Marlborough Gems, manuscript album and photographs, 1875, pl. 3.2.
- S. Reinach, Pierres gravées des collections Marlborough et d’Orléans, Paris, 1895, p. 113, no. 12, pl. 109.
- C. H. Smith and C. A. Hutton, Catalogue of the Antiquities (Greek, Etruscan and Roman) in the Collection of the Late Wyndham Francis Cook, Esq., London, 1908, p. 66, no. 284, pl. 14.
- J. Boardman, et al., The Marlborough Gems Formerly at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, London, 2009, p. 169, no. 372.
- J. Boardman and C. Wagner, Masterpieces in Miniature: Engraved Gems from Prehistory to the Present, London, 2018, p. 229, no. 215.
- Beazley Archive Gem Database, no. 372.