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c1860 Italian Cameo Portrait on 15 Carat Gold Brooch
  • c1860 Italian Cameo Portrait on 15 Carat Gold Brooch

c1860 Italian Cameo Portrait on 15 Carat Gold Brooch

Price:

£400.00


Product Description

A beautiful antique 15ct Yellow (625) Gold Cameo brooch is genuine Victorian Circa 1880.

The central cameo is very expertly carved from a Helmet Shell (Cassis tuberosa) depicting a lovely portrait of an elegant lady with very intricately carved ringlets in the hair. The cameo is mounted on a gold brooch, with a horizontal retaining pin and a retractable suspension ring, if worn as a pendant on a chain. There aren’t any hallmarks, but the gold has been tested as 15 carat. There is a stamp mark on the pin, but we haven’t been able to decipher it. Conch shells carve very well, but their colour fades over time. This example has kept its colour very well. Condition is very good.

Although cameo carvings were popular since Roman times, it wasn’t till the mid-18th century, that explorations revealed new shell varieties. Helmet shells from the West Indies, and queen conch shells (Eustrombus gigas) from the Bahamas and West Indies, arrived in Europe. This sparked a big increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells. After 1850 demand for cameos grew, as they became popular souvenirs of the Grand Tour among the middle class.

Size: 33 x 38 mm (1 5/16 x 1 ½ inches)
Weight: 11 g

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