Victorian Huge Carved Tortoise Shell "Three Graces" Cameo Pendant
In Greek mythology, a Charis is one of several Charites (Graces), goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, fertility, and human creativity. They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaia (Splendo), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer), hence the term "Three Graces." They were usually considered to be the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, but also said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or Helios and Aegle.
An outstanding cameo pendant from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This impressive piece is quite substantial, and depicts a cameo image of the dancing "Three Graces" at the center. The surrounding border of blooming flowers, vines, and leaves is hand-carved from tortoise shell, which displays a wonderful amber color and translucent quality. Now a banned material, antique tortoise shell jewelry has become very collectible. The central Three Graces cameo is carved from seashell, contrasting nicely with the tortoise shell border. All three of the female figures are hand-carved with exquisite detail, including flowing dresses, swaying hair, and feminine facial features. At the top of the piece is a tortoise shell ring, perfect for hanging from a favorite chain. This artisan piece is quite magnificent in person, and would make a very special addition to any antique collection!
Measurements: The pendant hangs 3 1/2" long (including the bail at the top), measures 2 1/8" wide, and 3/8" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the carved carved seashell cameo or tortoise shell border. The accompanying bail is securely attached and in good condition.