This beautiful piece merges two gorgeous elements - the very fine gold work of the frame with the high-relief carving of the coral cameo.
The 18K gold frame or bezel is an extremely fine example of Etruscan Revival gold working technique of 'granulation'. Granulation is when the maker incorporates tiny gold beads into the design that adds texture and dimension. The beautiful carved woman in profile is executed precisely to take advantage of the color variation in the pink-salmon colored coral. The darkest elements define her hair and give a deeper blush to her chest.
In addition, the outer rim is a series of connected heart shapes! As each connects to the inner rim, it creates the triangular shapes of the negative space.
The cameo was a bit tricky to photograph accurately. Her face is absolutely beautiful. As an aside, have you ever noticed just how unattractively carved are some cameo faces? As a general rule we stay away from those and opt to spend more to bring you the prettiest specimens available. This one was purchased directly from an estate full of antique jewelry treasures. We were only able to afford a few and all are listed here on our site.
The brooch can be worn as either a pin or on a chain as a pendant as it has a folding, swiveling bail that tucks away when not in use.
The pin measures 1 1/2" x 1" and is 1/2" deep. As is true of pins this old, the pin itself extends beyond the gold frame and is an additional indicator of age. The clasp is an early, lever version of the 'safety clasp'. It weighs 8.2gm. Condition is excellent.