Cameo collection

The Content Family Collection of cameos.

lmage: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.

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The 444 cameos, dating from classical antiquity to the 17th century, were sold from the collection of Dutch- American Derek Content.

The author of a number of books on ancient jewels and gems, he had collected the cameos over a 40-year period.

Athena cameo

A c.200-300AD sardonyx cameo of Athena in a gold setting.

lmage: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.

The Content Family Collection was believed to be the largest of ancient cameos in private hands and was on public display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford between 1990-2000.

The purchase price was around €5.4m (£4.8m) in a deal arranged last year.

Stork cameo

Among the Content Family Collection of cameos is this c.200-300AD sardonyx cameo depicting storks representing piety.

lmage: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.

Funding came from a number of sources. Around €2.5m was contributed by the Rembrandt Association to buy 42 masterworks from the collection.

The Rembrandt Association received funding from the Eleonora Jeuken-Tesser Fund, 1931 Fund, Rembrandt UK Circle Fund, Antiquities and Archaeology Theme Fund and the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund. Extra funding for the museum purchase came from a variety of donations including from VriendenLoterij, the Elisabeth Huss Fund, the Van der Schans Fund, the Asklepios and Eega van Asklepios Fund and the Gildemeester Fund.

More than 300 pieces from the collection are now on display in the museum.