Dating to c.200 AD for the Roman cameo and c.1810 for the high-karat gold setting, this jewel is proof that great things can come in small packages!
Measuring 7/8" with the original suspension ring, and 17.7 mm x 18.1 mm for the pendant alone, this masterpiece in miniature boasts a genuine ancient Roman agate cameo of "dextrarum junctio," or "two right hands joining." In the Roman world, this symbolized a contract, greeting, loyalty, or, most often, a marriage. This cameo measures 9.5 mm x 7.1 mm, and would have originally been set in a Roman wedding ring. As most collectors know, ancient cameos such as this were highly prized during the Neoclassical Revival at the turn of the 19th century. Spurred by Napoleon's fascination with Western antiquity, ancient cameos and intaglios were excavated on the sites, and sold to the English tourists. It is likely that this cameo would have been purchased by a lady of wealth and fashion taking the Grand Tour of Italy, then mounted into the setting you see here upon her return to England c.1810 .
The setting in which this cameo was mounted could not be more elegant; it is crafted from 18k gold, and the cameo is collet-set and secured by 22 tiny golden tabs. The cannetille and bead work frame is nothing short of a masterwork in itself; the 1800-year-old cameo nests among a lacy frame of gold, and by some miracle, the setting has survived into the 21st-century in untouched, all-original condition, with no losses or repairs! Weighing in at 1.75 grams, this lovely jewel retains its "T and C" clasp as well as a large twisted gold bail, so it can be sported on a lapel or worn as a pendant! SIMPLY FABULOUS!
This magnificent combination of a Roman love jewel and Georgian gold work tells a tale of nearly 2000 years of history, and the highly-collectible clasped hands motif is a fabulous bonus! This is the sort which I would love to keep for my own collection, but one cannot keep it all and pay the bills! If you collect the finest in either ancient cameos, sentimental, or Regency era jewelry, this treasure belongs in your collection! It would also make a fabulous gift for any lady fond of the best in historic jewelry. As with all of my ancient items, this piece will be sold with a COA and valuation for your insurance purposes at no extra charge. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind jewel; up to 60-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
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Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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