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In the Greek and Roman Antiquities department of the British Museum, this cameo is being kept. It is made of onyx and engraved with a snail. Dated from the 1st or 2nd century, it belongs to the early Roman Imperial period [1].


The snail itself is slightly stylised, due to the small size (9 x 8 mm). The shell is dextral, with some short axial indentations which might be representations of the colour pattern in the specimen which served as model. There seems also a hint of a spiral, peripheral band on the shell. The animal is shown with an undulating foot rim, much like a living snail could show when it is help up in the air by the shell; it thus seems to be quite naturalistically carved.


[1] BML, inv. [GRA] 1923.0401.968. http://bit.ly/1lYubmZ.