Circa 1900, this is a pastoral scene carving of the biblical Rebecca, most commonly referred to as Rebecca at the Well even though many of the scenes captured her in various poses around her home and not by the well.
Carved from sardonyx shell, this particular scene captures Rebecca gazing out from her door across the field and towards the barn, perhaps awaiting the return of her husband? These Rebecca carvings were very popular in the 19th century and were often given as betrothal and wedding gifts. This cameo is set in an elaborate 10K yellow gold frame with a hand cut floral surround. The bezel set cameo measures 42.1x34.1mm and the entire frame measures 49.5mm tall (just shy of 2") by 41.6mm (1-5/8"). The frame is fitted with locking brooch pin. There are no hallmarks but the frame, brooch hinge and clasp have tested at 10K. However, the pin is not solid gold, likely gold over silver.
The shell is supple and without chips or cracks. When candled to the light, we see only a couple of tiny internal lines right behind Rebecca. The carving itself is crisp and without smoothing. These style carvings were generally not incredibly detailed, rather dreamlike so as to evoke dreamy thoughts of home, hearth and devotion.
The gold mount is in excellent condition. Our photos do not capture the beauty of the custom gold mount as the color seemed to fade when uploaded into our description. This is a lovely piece and certainly all cameo collectors should have at least one of these Rebecca scenes.
It will be delivered in a lovely presentation case, perfect for a Victorian treasure such as this. The art of gifting was very important to the Victorians and the presentation was as important as the gift itself. It is the thought that counts, always. We will also include a copy of our easy cameo care instructions and, always, you will receive a written copy of our description.
Happy Wife, Happy Life
Victorian 10K Rebecca At the Well Scene Shell Cameo Brooch
$165 $199 SALE