Ahh....the romantic heart shaped shell cameo, with a twist. As an avid collector of these beauties, this exquisite heart shaped carving grabbed my heart strings at first sight. "While the heart is beloved, the pear is rare". With an added flower blossom perched at top, this uniquely shaped heart becomes the elusive pear.
We estimate age at 1920's when grandeur was firmly back in style. This exceptional cameo is carved from carnelian shell and features a Victorian inspired pendant enhancer bail. It has been paired with a lovely strand of cultured pearls to complete its elegant look. The cameo can be paired with any necklace or chain in your jewelry wardrobe and the pearls can be worn alone, for two looks in one.
This unusually shaped carving called for exceptional talent in creating its custom 12ct gold bezel frame. Measuring 2 inches tall (50mm) by 1-1/2" wide (38mm), the bezel itself is also quite thick at 3/8". It is embellished with a 2.3mm thick twisted rope surround. The cameo pendant itself weighs a substantial 12.8 grams. Age is estimated at 1920-1930 with the frame origin English and the cameo itself italian. Both 12ct and 15ct gold were discontinued in Great Britain in 1932.
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? It sure does add to its 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. 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. Hearts, flowers and angels--how perfect is that for Valentine's Day?
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 12K yellow gold.
This gorgeous cameo has been in our collection for quite some time. It was originally part of an intricate pearl and amber beaded necklace that had been lovingly held together by sheer prayer and innovation. The frame itself had at one time been plated with rhodium as a nod to the white metal rage of the Period. Of course, we loved her as is but it was a time for sweet Flora to receive a refreshing makeover. (What a surprise to find there was 12ct yellow gold lurking below the rhodium surface!) The 14K gold enhancer bail hook is a Victorian period inspiration and added to accommodate a variety of necklace and chain designs.
We selected a 16" strand of cultured pearls as a perfect partner for this sweet cameo. Circa 1960's, the pearls are well matched and fairly uniform at 5-5.9mm. The pearl surfaces are smooth, eye clean nacre and with excellent luster. They are fitted with a self locking 14K yellow gold clasp that is hallmarked "14K". These saltwater pearls are a bright white and not ivory. They are in excellent condition and recently restrung. The pearl strand itself weighs 14 grams.
Together, the cameo and pearls weigh 26.8 grams.
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.
This beautiful pendant and pearl necklace will be delivered in a lovely presentation case, perfect for gift giving and storage, When you find the perfect gift, you needn't worry about the perfect box. We have already taken care of that for you. We will also include copies of our easy shell cameo AND pearl care instructions. (Shell cameos love moisture, while pearls prefer a drier atmosphere.)
I highly recommend this cameo necklace as a gift for that special woman on your gift list. It is a thoughtful love token for any occasion, but of course absolutely perfect for Valentine's Day. 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.
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