This simply complex (oxymoron, I know but couldn't resist) hardstone cameo of a lovely woman is set in a lovely 18K yellow and rose gold frame. It is that frame that appears to be both simple and complex at the same time. The eye takes in the outside edge as 'simple' while up close there is quite a lot of design and workmanship going on that adds up to a very complex setting.
This pin dates from late Georgian to early Victorian period (late 1830's-early 1940's). The profile of this woman is very beautifully rendered and there is a a lot of master carving done in the rendering of the hair and drapery of the garment.
The gold frame is crowned by a small pearl like a crown.
The gold tested a strong 18K. There are no other markings. The clasp is an early, lever type closure. The tip of the pin extends beyond the frame - another early feature of both Victorian and Georgian pins.
Many sellers identify this type of stone as onyx, however, we believe these type of cameos to be carved from agate where the natural stone is often found in layers and carved down like this one is. Most experts refer to this type of hardstone as agate and we defer to those experts. Cameos of this type are fast overtaking those carved out of shell in desireability. When you find one that is finely carved like this one is and mounted in such a nice frame, it is easy to see why the values have gone up on them while the values on shell cameos are in decline. Thus, this pin makes for an excellent investment!
Excellent condition. 1 3/8" x 1".
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