This is a charming mid-Victorian swivel brooch set with a finely carved three dimensional bacchante cameo which swivels around to reveal a picture space, currently vacant and lined in black leather under thick glass. The chocolate brown shell with a thick creamy white layer looks like it could be Sardonyx or bullmouth, a type of shell particularly sought after for its colouring and thick white layer which can be carved to create a three dimensional effect. Because these shells grow slowly, Sardonyx shell cameos are relatively rare and sought after. The well preserved gold tone mount is Pinchbeck, a genuinely tarnish proof alloy whose formula has now been lost. The cameo itself measures just over 1 inch, and the brooch is 1.5 inch high and 1.25 in wide. The fastening is a secure working C clasp with a good strong straight pin and Victorian tubular hinge.
The cameo's subject is a bacchante (in Greek classical antiquity, they were the nymphs who accompanied the god Dionysius on his revels), finely carved, with fine detail in the hair and vine leaf crown and a classical profile. Almost invisible to the naked eye, there is a faint white stress line which appears to have been created when the shell was bezel set in its metal mount, but it is not a crack - no sign of it on the surface (pictured, and priced accordingly). The cameo itself is thick and durable, bound in metal and fitted inside the pinchbeck swivel ring. The Pinchbeck border has a highly polished gold colour and is free of any tarnish. The cameo comes boxed in a green velvet lined leatherette box.
A beautiful and well preserved exemplar of its kind!
All our items are fully wearable. Unless otherwise stated, the presentation boxes pictured are display only (but all our items come in a gift box - see below).
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FREE GIFT WRAPPING: all items are gift boxed. Please message us at checkout if you would like us to add an organza ribbon bow and message card (free of charge).
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Antique Victorian Cameo Swivel Brooch Pin with Picture Locket on the Reverse. Finely Carved Bacchante Shell Cameo.
$345 $380 SALE
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