Vintage 18kt Carved Shell Cameo Link Bracelet
The earliest known use of shell for cameo carving was during the 15th and 16th centuries. Before that, cameos were carved from hardstone. The Renaissance cameos are typically white on a grayish background and were carved from the shell of a mussel or cowry. In the mid 18th century, explorations revealed new shell varieties. Helmet shells from the West Indies, and queen conch shells from the Bahamas arrived in Europe, thus sparking an increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells.
This beautiful vintage bracelet is a lovely example of cameo shell carvings! The design is comprised of 8 cameo links, which rest in a vibrant 18kt gold setting. All of the cameo links are intricately hand carved from shell, depicting the faces of young women shown in profile. Each lady comes to life with artistic details, including fine facial features, curled tendrils of hair, and elegant dresses with elaborate floral necklines. The shell background displays a peachy orange shade, a wonderful contrast to the white carvings. A secure push clasp is disguised within the final link, fastening the piece. A safety chain at the side provides additional security. When worn, the design has wonderful vintage appeal, and would make a special addition to any collection!
Measurements: The bracelet measures 6 1/2" long, and would fit nicely on a small sized wrist. The largest center cameo is 1" tall and 3/4" wide. The smallest outer cameos measure 5/8" tall and 1/2" wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the bracelet is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting. All of the cameos are intact, securely set, and free of chips or scratches. The push clasp and safety chain are secure and in good working condition.