This is an elegant cameo, carved in an exceptional shape. Circa 1920's, this beauty is set in a beautiful 12ct yellow gold frame. Fitted with an enhancer hook bail, it easily attaches to your favorite strand of pearls, coral or any other beads, and even your favorite Omega necklace.
This cameo is carved from a brilliantly hued cornelian shell and offers a lovely rendition of the Spring goddess Flora. A single pansy at top, carved in high relief, creates its crowning glory while a feathered wing at each side defines the glory of the lovely goddess. The entire frame measures 2 inches tall (50mm) by 1-1/2" wide (38mm). The bezel itself is quite thick at 3/8" and is embellished with a 2.3mm thick twisted rope surround. The cameo pendant weighs a substantial 12.8 grams. The frame is of English origin and the cameo carving from Italy.
With its unique flower blossom at top, did the carver originally intend this to be a heart shape but couldn't resist adding that sweet blossom? This feature sure does add to this cameo's allure. The carving is a lovely rendition of the goddess Flora, with her signature flowers adorning her Period bobbed hair and neckline, showering sweet Flora with sweet pansy nectar. Her facial features are intricately detailed with the lines of her jaw, neckline and décolletage smooth and realistic. The bodice of her gown is also fitted with a beautiful pansy. If Flora hasn't captured your heart already, the artist's inclusion of angel wings at either side of her head are sure to at least reel your heart in for a closer look.
The pendant hook slips on and off any necklace, beaded or not, with the greatest of ease, so it is easy to partner with any style chain or necklace. Shell cameos do make beautiful friends with any beaded necklace in your repertoire, so this gal can travel all around your prized necklace collection. It makes a great statement with a wide Omega chain, too. There are no hallmarks on the pendant frame, but it was tested and guaranteed at solid 12ct yellow gold, a British gold standard that was discontinued in the early 1930's.
The 14K gold pendant enhancer hook is a more modern addition, albeit a 19th century inspired design. The pictured 16 inch strand of cultured pearls makes a perfect partner for this cameo, but this style of bail can accommodate any type or size of beaded necklace and any variety of gold chain, even a wide Omega chain. This strand of pearls is available separately.
The cameo is in very good condition. The carving details are crisp and without age related smoothing. The very tip of the feather at her left side has been lost. This is not noticeable unless pointed out and closely studied. This cameo was carved in fairly good relief, making a sharp point of the feather susceptible to such damage. However, the feather is not in peril of further issue. When candled to the light and magnified, we do see at this point a striation or line at this point that does not break the surface on either front or back. This issue may have occurred during the setting process. And certainly, the heart shaped settings are no easy task to accomplish.
The carnelian shell's color is that distinctive rich caramel and soft cream hue and Father Time has not faded it one bit. The shell is supple and without age and wear related smoothing to the carving details. There are no chips or cracks to the front side of the carving. When candled to the light under magnification, we see internal striations from top center to the top left side of the cameo's background layer, not unusual in an odd shaped cameo.. When the back is examined under magnification, this same area reflects one line that hits the surface from about 1 o'clock to 3 o'clock. This is likely original to the pressure of the setting process itself and is not at risk. Otherwise, the back of the carving is flawless.
There is just something about this Flora that draws the eye in and makes your heart smile. When shopping for a cameo, it is always an "AHA" moment when you find "the one" that speaks to your heart. This beautiful cameo will be delivered in a lovely presentation case, perfect for gift giving and storage,
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