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 gods and goddesses from mythology.
This gorgeous large shell cameo pin/pendant is hand carved and from the Late Victorian (ca1900) era. The piece is set in a wonderfully ornate 14kt white gold setting which combines a border of small hearts and leaf corners. The beautiful cameo is highly detailed with roses in her flowing curls, as well as on her shoulders. A cloth falls across her bust and shoulders and resting on her neck is a necklace, with three diamonds set within it. 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 of the pin is stamped "14K". This exquisite and unusual pin/pendant would make a lovely addition to any collection!
Measurements: As a pendant, the cameo hangs approximately 1 5/8" long. Without the bail, the cameo pin measures approximately 1 1/2" tall, is 1 3/8" wide and 3/8" deep.
Condition: The overall condition of the brooch is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, 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.