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.1835-1845 for the hard stone cameo and c.1920 for the 14k gold pendant/brooch frame, this portrait cameo is carved and signed by Vittoria Pozzi, one of the finest cameo carvers of mid-19th century Rome! Vittoria Pozzi is mentioned as a cameo carver as early as 1833, in the "Traveller's Guide for Travellers on the Continent and the Isle of Sicily" by Marianna Starke. He was later awarded a gold medal for his cameo work in the Dublin Exposition of 1865, where he exhibited his work. I am thrilled to have acquired a portrait cameo by this outstanding artist, and it's beauty, provenance, and pristine condition all qualify it for Masterpiece status in the truest sense!
Measuring 1 5/8" long with the folded bail tucked in x 1 1/4" long x just over 3/8" thick, this is easily the finest cameo of this date that I have acquired in my 25+ years as a dealer, collector and scholar of antique jewelry! This cameo is carved from onyx, and depicts a portrait of an unnamed lady of fashion. This work of glyptic art is nothing short of astounding; the lady faces left, her abundant curls swept up and held by rows of pearls. Her profile and features are exquisitely rendered, with drilled and lidded eyes that actually convey a genuine glance! She almost looks as if she is going to turn and speak to the viewer!
The subject is dressed at the height of fashion for the late 1820s/early1830s. Curls of hair touch the double ruffles of her neckline, and the very fabric of these ruffles are decorated with a lace pattern! The cameo is also undercut, giving even more dimension to this outstanding portrait. Pozzi has cut this image in amazingly high relief, and the matte white cameo just bursts from the polished blue-gray background! The side of the image is inscribed "M. BEAT. VIT", and the bottom of the best is signed "POZZI F(ecit)." JUST FABULOUS!
This cameo was mounted into the 14k gold pendant/brooch you see here c.1920 (gold marked "14K;" tested). It is set open at the back, retains it's original early pin stem and safety clasp, and has a fold-down bail which allows the cameo to be worn as a pendant. The cameo has survived into the 21st century in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for, and it is museum-quality, which is a term that I do not throw around loosely! This jewel weighs in at 19.31 grams.
If you cherish the NE PLUS ULTRA of antique cameos, this signed Pozzi will take pride of place in your collection, and represents a fine investment opportunity for the serious collector. It would also make a thrilling gift for any lady who loves the best in historic cameos, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this important work by an international award winning-artist; up to 120-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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