An especially beautiful shell cameo brooch dating from the mid-19th Century. The subject is the Greek goddess Iris, the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. More specifically, it is a re-imagination of the 1793 painting "Iris Carrying the Water of the River Styx to Olympus for the Gods to Swear By," by the English painter Guy Head.
Iris is also known to be one of the goddesses of the sea and sky. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and the underworld - linking the Gods to humanity.
A rare subject, the carving is exceptionally well executed and the frame is modelled in 15 karat gold, with applied ropework crosses at each compass point. Offered in its original fitted box.
STONES Shell Cameo
MEASUREMENTS 5.8 x 4.8cm
MARKS No marks present, tests as 15k gold
CONDITION Excellent, the brooch fittings have been replaced, likely in the early 20th Century
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Fine English Antique and Vintage Jewellery
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