Italian carvers began to use shells for their creations in the early 1880's. Most commonly, cameos portrayed the faces or images of Romanesque women. Most often they had upswept hairstyles and some were even adorned with jewelry. The cameos usually depicted the portrait of the "idealized" woman or god's and goddesses from mythology. This gorgeous large shell cameo pin/pendant is hand carved and from the Art Deco (ca1920) era. The piece is set in a wonderfully ornate 14kt yellow gold setting which combines a border of small hearts and bow-like corners. The beautiful cameo is highly detailed with flowing curls in her hair and flowers in her hand. A wonderful headband rests at the crown of her head and a cloth falls across her bust and shoulders. Hanging from her ear is a sterling earring and resting at her wrist is a sterling bracelet. A single diamond is set within the silver earring and 2 diamonds a set in the bracelet. On the back of the pin/pendant is a pin clasp as well as a swing down bail which easily transforms the piece from a brooch to a pendant. The clasp is stamped "14K" along with the inside of the back of the cameo, which is also marked "14K". This exquisite and unusual pin/pendant would make a lovely addition to any collection!
Measurements: As a pendant, the cameo hangs approximately 2 1/4" long. Without the bail, the cameo pin measures approximately 2 1/8" tall, is 1 5/8" wide and 1/2" deep.
Condition: The overall condition of the brooch is excellent. There is no apparent damage to the cameo or to the gold setting. The pin clasp is secure and in good working condition and the swing-down bail moves easily and stays securely in place.