Dating to c.1750 for the cameo and bezel and c.1950 for the 18k gold shank, this ring is proof that some marriages are made in Heaven! This ring comes straight from my personal collection of Georgian cameos, but I rarely wear it, so I am presenting it for the first time in my shop!
Measuring a perfectly-proportioned 7/8" long x 5/8" wide x 3.5 mm tall, this beautiful cowrie shell dates to the middle of the 18th century, when cowrie shells were used extensively for creating small cameos with rich, dimensional color! This example features the bust of the goddess Athena facing right, her helmet, cheek, and chiton all displaying the dark brown of the outer skin of the cowrie shell. Athena wears her helmet over her curling hair, which is held back by a fillet. She wears armor over her chiton, an element that one rarely sees in later carvings of the Goddess of War. The cameo is beautifully carved, and displays undercutting, a rare feature in shell cameos!
Best of all, this cameo has survived the past 265+ years in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for, without cracks or losses! This is due in part to it's rubbed-over, closed-backed mounting, which has protected this lovely work of glyptic art. The bezel is copper gilt (copper fired with high-karat gold) and is original to the cameo. Sometime in the mid-20th century, a previous owner had this ring re-shanked with the sturdy 18k shank you see here, likely when the original wore out after two centuries of wear (gold unmarked but tested). This bit of conservation has ensured the survival of this jewel into the 21st-century, and it looks oh-so-beautiful on the hand!
This ring is a size 5 1/4, but the plainness of the shank would allow for easy re-sizing by laser for little cost. (Heat cannot be used to re-size this ring, as it would damage the cameo and it's setting.) Weighing in at 4.83 grams, this jewel is sturdy enough for every day wear, but the cameo should be treated with the respect which a jewel of this great age deserves. If you collect the best in Georgian shell or antique cameo jewelry, this rarity belongs on your hand and in your collection! It would also make a splendid gift for any lady who loves early cameos, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this stunning goddess; up to 30-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
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