Dating to c.1860 for the cameo and c.1920 for the sterling silver frame, this exquisitely-carved Carrara marble cameo of Dante Aligheri is a highly-wearable wonder!
Measuring 2 1/2" long x 2" wide, this cameo is carved out of natural grey-blue Carrera marble, which is native to Tuscany, Italy. This magnificent carving was likely acquired by a lady of wealth whilst on the Grand Tour, but was not mounted until a few generations later, c.1920. The cameo is the finest example of this subject that I have seen in my 30+ years as a collector, dealer and scholar of antique jewelry, and the artist was clearly a master! Dante is depicted as a middle-aged gentleman dressed in the fashion of the 14th century, wearing the characteristic long draping cap beneath a crown of laurels as well as a button-down gown. His face is carved with exquisite detail in high relief, and the natural color of the marble is a delight to behold as well as a rarity!
This cameo may have been purchased as a set for display in the Victorian home, as it was not set into the brooch you see here until a few generations later. The rope-motif frame is rhodium-plated sterling silver (marked "STERLING"), and is in excellent condition, with a locking clasp, but personally, I would love to see this cameo re-mounted into a gold frame that will do it justice! The cameo is in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for, without chips, cracks or losses to the fine Italian marble. JUST SUPERB!
Weighing in at 30.62 grams, this cameo is truly investment-quality, and lights up a lapel or a jacket! It would make a stellar addition to any collection of fine Victorian cameos or Grand Tour jewelry, and I guarantee that you will not find another of this quality! If you collect the best in fine hardstone cameos, this Carrara beauty belongs in your collection! It would also make a fabulous gift for any Dante fan, and will be shipped in a gift box suitable for storing or giving this masterpiece in miniature. Do not miss it; up to 60-day layaway is 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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