Webster's Dictionary defines a "masterpiece" as "a work done with extraordinary skill or artistic achievement." I have been fortunate enough lately to acquire several jewels which meet this criteria, and I am proud to present the "Masterpiece collection" for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Dating to c.1860-1870, this is one of the most astounding cameo jewels that I have beheld in 20 years as a dealer, collector and scholar of antique jewelry, and its phenomenally rare subject, expert craftsmanship and finely enameled 22k frame adds up to a genuine museum-quality Masterpiece!
Many collectors know that there were two periods of Egyptian revival jewelry, the first during the 1860s, and the second in the 1920s. This fantastic jewel dates to the Victorian-era revival, and the cameo is an absolute treasure!
Crafted from mother-of-pearl, this cameo features an Egyptian scene copied from an actual painting discovered in Akhenaten's tomb, and the accuracy, quality, and detail of the cameo is unsurpassed! The figures represent the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, also known as Akhenaten, who ruled during Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, and died c.1336 BC, and his Queen Consort, Nefertiti. This couple were the parents of King Tutankhamen. The Pharaoh sits on his ornate throne, wearing the Royal crown, with Queen Nefertiti standing to his right, touching his shoulder. There are intricately-carved hieroglyphic inscriptions at the top and right-hand side, which also boasts a solar disc-topped stand.
The top of the cameo displays the sun shining rays of light over the Royal couple. This disc represents the Egyptian sun god Aten. Akenhaten was especially noted for attempting to compel the Egyptian population in the monotheistic worship of the Sun god. This was frowned upon by most Egyptians of the period, who did not wish to offend the pantheon of Egyptian gods, and it is suspected that Akenhaten was assassinated for his "heresy."
This cameo measures 2" long x 1 1/2" wide in its 22k solid gold frame, which is expertly decorated in champleve enamel in shades of iron red, royal blue, turquoise, black, and white (illegible hallmark on top of bail; tested). The cameo is bezeled in the frame, and the back of the frame is also enameled in these colors. The frame measures just over 1/8" wide and 1/8" thick. The result is one magnificent jewel!
This superb work of wearable art is in near-mint condition; the only sign of wear is to one enamel panel on the back of the pendant which is missing, but this cannot be seen when the pendant is worn. This is very acceptable wear when one considers the overall rarity and quality of this important jewel, and does not affect its value. Otherwise, this cameo pendant is just as beautiful as when it was crafted by a master carver and goldsmith in the 1860s! The cameo is 100% intact, with very little surface wear. (My photos do not do this piece justice; it is even more outstanding "in hand!")
Weighing in at 11.8 grams (with most of the weight in the 22k gold frame), this pendant is an investment-worthy jewel that is also a highly wearable work of art! It looks so gorgeous worn on a gold chain! This pendant will thrill the most discriminating collector, and I assure that it is one-of-a-kind!
If you collect the ULTIMATE in Grand Tour or cameo jewelry, this treasure belongs in your collection! It is certain to increase in value over the years, and will become an heirloom that will forever be enjoyed and admired. It would also make a thrilling gift for anyone fond of the best in antique cameo jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box. Most fine jewelry dealers would price this item at well over $5000, but not in my shop; when I get a good deal, so do you! Do not miss this Masterpiece; up to 90-day layaway i available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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