Antique jewellery set made of lava, consisting of Earrings and a Brooch. “Leda and the Swan”
in 14K rose gold, the earrings are decorated with the portrait of Leda and hung with amphorae (vases), some slightly damaged, the lower part of the earrings can be attached to the brooch. the brooch has 2 swans on the side of the portrait of Leda, 27.7 g.
While we traditionally refer to these mud-coloured Italian cameos as lava, technically they are more likely tuff, welded tuff, or volcanic breccia, which can be found all over the world.
Although it may not be geologically correct, we continue to use the term lava jewellry, coined by Italian carvers, when referring to this material with the biscuit porcelain luster.
Earrings 9.14 g Brooch 18.58 g.
The myth of Leda and the Swan, which was popularised by Ovid (43BC-17AD), exists in several different versions.
The most divulgated has Leda as the daughter of King Thestius of Aetolia.
Much coveted by Zeus, the naked Leda was drying in the sun after bathing in the river Eurotas, the main river in Sparta.
Zeus took the form of a swan pretending to flee an eagle, and Leda compassionately let him take refuge in her lap.
The resulting copulation is voluntary in some versions of the story and rape in others. It is also said that Leda copulated with her husband as well that same night; the result of all this being two eggs and four children: the twins Castor and Pollux and Helen of Sparta (later to be Helen of Troy) and Clytemnestra.
The myth has led to unaccountable representations and to some of the most explicit erotic art of the classical period, and again from the Renaissance until the present.