This is a most elegant carving in an exceptional shape in a fabulous solid gold mount. Circa 1920's, this cameo is carved from carnelian shell and features a Victorian inspired pendant enhancer bail.
Featuring a lovely rendition of the Spring goddess Flora, a pansy creates its crowning glory at top while a feathered wing at each side define the glory of the lovely goddess. Set in 12 ct yellow gold, 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 12K yellow gold.
The 14K gold enhancer bail hook is a more modern addition, albeit a 19th century inspired design. The 16 inch strand of cultured pearls make 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.
The cameo is in very good condition. The carving details are crisp and without age related smoothing. The 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.
Of course, the pearls are much younger than the cameo. Circa 1960's, these saltwater pearls are well matched and fairly uniform in size at 5-5.9mm. The pearl surfaces are smooth, with an eye clean nacre and with excellent luster. Their color is a bright white, not ivory. The necklace is fitted with a self locking 14K yellow gold clasp that is hallmarked "14K". 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 cameo and pearls are available separately. Please contact us for pricing.
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.)
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. 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.
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