Victorian Large English 18kt Carved Stone Cameo Pin
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 a big increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells.
This large English cameo brooch is hand carved and from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Set in a vibrant 18kt yellow gold bezel setting, the beautiful face of a young woman graces the center of the piece. Highly detailed, the woman is wearing what appear to be leaves in her hair with small tendrils peeking down. A fantastic etched gold frame surrounds the outside of the entire cameo and a c-catch clasp can be found on the back. There is a single touch-mark on the clasp on the pin. This stunning cameo is simply wonderful and would make a lovely addition to any collection!
Measurements: The brooch measures approximately 1 7/8" tall, 1 5/8" wide, and 3/8” at its thickest point.
Condition: The overall condition of the brooch is great. Besides normal surface wear there is no serious damage to the cameo and the clasp fits snug and secure, and is in good working condition. The gold frame of the cameo has a small dent on the upper right corner which is hardly noticeable when the piece is worn.