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Lava cameo of Cibele (Cybele)

This unmounted cameo is a high-relief, profile bust of the goddess Cibele (Cybele), an Anatolian goddess. Purchased by Edward Gleason (1829-1863?), son of Boston silversmith Roswell Gleason and Rebecca Vose Gleason, during a honeymoon visit to Italy where lava cameos were popular souvenir items...

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"Cibele" in engraved cursive script on reverse


20th century, purchased by Edward Gleason in Italy and given to Mrs. Frank Bowker; late 1960's, gift of Mrs. Frank Bowker to her great-niece, Elizabeth C. Heide, Marblehead, MA; 2012, gift of Elizabeth C. Heide to the MFA. (Accession date: September 26, 2012)

Credit Line

Gift of Elizabeth C. Heide in memory of Mrs. Frank Bowker

Italian, about 1860


Overall: 4 x 3.3 x 0.8 cm (1 9/16 x 1 5/16 x 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Textiles and Fashion Arts


Jewelry / Adornment