Rare Antique large scale carved shell cameo from the Antebellum era. The cameo is nestled in a lovely 14k gold (tested) frame with elegant etched ribbon and ring design. The carving is exquisite featuring a maiden holding a pitcher (watering her garden) in a detailed Italian countryside. I just love the cypress trees in the background. I am not sure if this is considered a "Rebecca at the Well" theme or not.. I don't see a well. The three dimensional ribbon treatment to the frame is quite rare and indicates that this cameo is a very very early piece dating to 1840-1850. There are three dimensional ribbons and rings North, South, East and West on the frame. It also features a little etched floral design and applied ropes on either side. The cameo is truly one of the best scenic ones that I have seen, very deeply carved . It is remarkably large at 2 7/8" by 2 1/4" and features an old "C" catch, tube hinge. It weighs 17.7 grams. The rope borders appear to not be gold but it may just need a good cleaning. Typical of the Victorian era, lots of jewelry was comprised of mixed metals. There is light bloom on the gold on the reverse (sometimes seen as light purplish irridiscence and a sign of antiquity in jewelry and not to be confused with a bloom finish). The base metal interior frame in which the actual cameo is held is a little rough in areas but the decorative solid gold frame is wonderful. Overall the condition is superb for a piece that is over 170 years old. Please see photos. A really beautiful antique cameo for your collection. Unmarked.
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