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Simply lovely, this early 20th century cameo offers a rare glimpse of Vesta, the Roman goddess of hearth, home and domestic life.
This cameo is carved from desirable sardonyx shell and set in a solid 12K yellow gold frame measuring 2-1/16" tall by 1-5/8" wide. The cameo itself measures 1-3/4" tall by 1-3/8" wide. It is set in a custom bezel that includes a wide chased surround. There is a brooch pin and locking clasp crafted of rolled gold. The frame has been tested at 12K but there are no hallmarks. has been tested at 12K, a purity used in Great Britain into the early 1930's.
The artisan has captured Vesta looking up toward the heavens. He has decorated her hair with a crown of laurel leaves and incorporated a hearth flame at her shoulder. Her upswept hair includes a dropped tendril as a nod to her strength and importance as guardian of the hearth, the focus of the home and family. She wears a simple stola.
We estimate age of the carving and frame to be around 1900-1910. Both the shell and setting are in excellent condition. This cameo was carved in gossamer style, leaving the background strata as thin as possible to reflect light and glow behind the carving body. When candled to the light, there is one internal growth plate seen, between her left shoulder and bezel. There are no chips, cracks or age related smoothing to the carving or chips along the shell at the bezel seating. The frame exhibits no bends or tears. The brooch hinge, pin and locking clasp are in excellent working order. They do exhibit loss of original gold, with silver exposed.
This cameo would make an excellent gift choice for that goddess in your life that somehow seems to balance it all, keeping the hearth fire burning and everyone's life on track.
It will be delivered in a lovely presentation case, perfect for gift giving and storage, along with a copy of our easy cameo care instructions.
Large Edwardian 12K Gold Shell Cameo Brooch - 13.3 grams
$165 $250 SALE
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