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 1885-1895, this thrilling portrait cameo of a lady was carved by the listed Italian artist Publio de Felici, and is signed twice! Publio de Felici worked in Rome and Florence during the last quarter of the 19th century, and was awarded both First Place Gold Medals at the Columbian Exposition of 1893! I am thrilled to present this portrait cameo by de Felici, the provenance of which qualifies it for true Masterpiece status!
Measuring 1 7/8" tall x 1 3/8" wide x 1/2" thick, this portrait cameo is carved from pink onyx. (Beginning collectors often mistakenly think of onyx as a black stone, but it occurs in every color known to nature!) The subject is a lovely lady of perhaps 30 years old, and de Felici truly captured her in a photographic manner! This lady faces left, and wears her hair in smooth waves against her head and tucked behind her ear. She wears small earrings, and roses her hair, as well as a lacy cowl over the back of her head which falls in scalloped folds over her shoulders. de Felici has actually replicated the pattern of the cowl in his carving, and the entire figure is amazingly true to life!
Simply an outstanding example of award-winning cameo carving, this cameo is signed twice; once on the right edge of the cameo at the 3:00 position, and "Publio de Felici/ROME" on the reverse. The pale pink carving is beautifully set off by the darker pink background. Best of all, this cameo has made it into the 21st century in excellent condition. The only sign of wear is to a 1/2" long surface hairline to the back, but this does not penetrate through the front of the cameo, and it is completely stable. Nevertheless, I have set my price with this bit of wear in mind. Otherwise, this cameo is as fresh as the day it was carved over 120 years ago, and looks outstanding worn on a lapel or a sweater! SO IMPRESSIVE!
The cameo is mounted in its original 22k gold frame, and is securely held by eight long golden claws (gold unmarked but tested). The reverse of the brooch retains its original "T and C" fold-over clasp. Weighing in at 35.92 grams, this is truly a museum-worthy cameo, and this is a term I do NOT throw around loosely! Here is an opportunity to acquire a fine onyx portrait cameo by a Gold Medal-winning artist! Examples such as this only rarely come on to the open market, and I consider myself very fortunate to have acquired it!
If you collect the ULTIMATE in Victorian cameos, this Publio de Felici work of art belongs in your collection! it would also make a splendid gift for any lady fond of the best of the best in Victorian jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box suitable for giving or storing. Do not miss this glyptic Masterpiece; I never expect to find another, up to a five month layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping's FREE!
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