The story of William Tell, as I have found out recently, is a very interesting one that goes far beyond the simple allegory of shooting an apple off of his son's head. The story of William Tell begins in Europe with accounts of defiance against tyranny; he refuses to show deference to a despot and so pays the price with his freedom. He became a symbol of this rebellion and defiance against injustice and dictatorship throughout the 18th and 19th century. Then in 1829 the famous (infamous?) William Tell Overture was composed by the Italian musician Gioachino Rossini, and William Tell was forever embedded in the popular culture, spreading even to the United States in the 20th century.
This beautiful museum quality carving set in 14kt rose gold has been identified as being a portrait of William Tell. It features a bearded gentleman with a jaunty feathered soft cap. It is engraved on the back with several numbers and "G. Tell" ...the Italian name for William Tell being Guillermo Tell. Meticulously done in hardstone sardonyx, the details are amazing considering the size and that it would all have been hand carved. The details are sharp and incredibly lifelike, my camera had a hard time capturing them in the soft white stone. I suspect this lovely piece was a souvenir from a Grand Tour of Europe and/or Italy; I have a very similar one featuring Michelangelo inscribed on the back with the year 1866.
The gold setting is not marked, but has been professionally tested and guaranteed at least 14kt gold. It is actually unusual to find these as pendants; I guess the owner did not want the pin stem to get in the way while wearing it.
Measures 1 inch in height, not including the bale. Condition is excellent. Color is a polished white on a matte black, but the soft brown translucence can be seen when held up to the light.
Will arrive nicely boxed.
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Museum quality William Tell portrait hardstone cameo pendant in 14kt rose gold