Lion cameo

Lion cameo, Roman, 1st century CE, made of brown and white sardonyx. Part of the mystery cult of Mithras, so the sign says.

Around 1500CE it was brought to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, and people believed the lion was a symbol of Mark the Evangelist (who was usually represented with a lion symbol), so it became part of a reliquary. This lovely ring of red and green gems was added around it, along with a Habsburg imperial eagle. Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?

   19 May 2023
   1/30s    f/2.8   28mm   ISO 1000
A cameo carved like a lion, in black, red and white, surrounded by a ring of gold and gems, with an imperial eagle on one side