Mounted in a jet frame we find an animal portrait that makes us wonder how the sculptor managed to get the pet to sit as the subject. We believe this was someone’s treasured pet and the cameo was carved as a special memento for the animal’s owner.
Animal motifs in jewelry were common in English jewelry. The English persons affection for animals was often shown in his or her jewelry. This sentimental expression might have been deep love, respect or even grief.
The cameo is shell and the carving shows amazing detail and is three-dimensional. Overall the brooch measures 1 3/4 inches in diameter and is 3/8ths of an inch in depth. The pin and clasp on the metal back are original but there is indication both have been reinforced at an early period. In addition there is a metal ring making it possible to wear the piece as a pendant.
Wonderful antique condition.