I must confess that when I first saw this Brooch, I thought that the Lady, with her large nose and small chin, had the most unfortunate looks, to say the least! But the opalescent nature of the Mother of Pearl has bestowed those same features with an ethereal quality, and as the brooch moves the Lady's features seem to literally come to life, and instead of being just a Cameo carving, you almost feel as if you know her. I believe that the Lady, with flowers carved into her hair, represents Flora, the Roman Goddess of Flowers
Dating to the late 1800's, and in an unmarked, but tested, Sterling Silver Rope Twist Mount, the Brooch measures 1 1/4 inches across and just over 1 1/2 inches down. The Cameo is carved on a quite thick piece of Mother of Pearl, and this is carved on the reverse with a number, which looks like 21 over 10. There are also carved initials - perhaps 'yf' - but I am not sure. The Brooch fastens with a roll-over safety clasp, which is a new addition, when the Brooch came to me, the clasp was missing, although the extended pin and tube hinge are original. The Cameo itself is in excellent condition, there are some surface lines on the back, I do not think that these are cracks, but part of the natural shell - whatever they are, they do not go through to the front. The front of the cameo has a line at the top rear of the lady's head which I at first thought was a crack, but looking through x10 magnification, it looks like a line in the shell. A highly unusual and beautiful Victorian Cameo, which would make a lovely addition to a collection.
Victorian Silver Carved Mother of Pearl Cameo Brooch