Vintage Left Facing 10 KT Shell Cameo Brooch Pin~Octagonal Mount
This elegant lady's profile is delicately rendered and she is facing left – a more rare and unusual piece, carved by a left handed carver who has mastered his craft. The color of the shell is a rich carnelian and cream, with the most subtle blushes in her hair and gown. The details, with delicate strands of hair are lovely. Her gaze is ethereal, her expression serene. This graceful shell cameo is bezel set into a wide, shiny, beautifully scrolled and hand engraved 10KT gold frame. It is 1 and ¼ inches tall and 1 inch wide overall, the cameo itself is 15/16 of an inch tall and ¾ of an inch wide. Hallmarked with an S in a circle, with 10 KT just underneath it on the clasp. The setting itself is quite a piece of artwork, shaped in the Art Deco geometric style, but with the softer, more feminine Art Nouveau scrolled attributes still adored today as it was at the turn of the century. There is just a hairline gap between the shell and the frame at the 5 o'clock position, but is very secure and was designed to be as such so that the overall shape of the frame would be more balanced without compromising the natural shape of the shell. It is not noticeable in person, and the shell does not give or move at all, it is totally secure. This is characteristic of a truly handmade piece, not mass produced by machines. With an early form of safety catch, it is easy to use and is very secure. It has most of the bale ring that folds down so that it could be used as a pendant, but the upper hook or ring is gone (perhaps your jeweler could replace/repair—mine won't touch cameos for fear of damaging them). Versatile and elegant, this cameo is outstanding in its fine use of textures and materials, a small masterpiece, remarkable for its detail and use of the natural color. This marvel is very dimensional, as I hope you can see in the side view pictures. There are no chips or cracks, just a few faint natural striation lines at the 7 to 9 o'clock position, visible in the candled photo but not to the naked eye. These occur over time as the shell becomes dry with age, but are deep within the shell and are not visible unless magnified and backlighted. Overall condition is excellent, one of the prettiest ladies I have encountered. There is something about a cameo that it truly captivating. Be it the attention to fine detail or the elegance of the portrait, there is simply nothing quite as beautiful. An heirloom quality cameo that will never go out of style.
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Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: 10kt Gold and Carnelian Shell Cameo, Size: 1 and 1/4 inches