Lovely and unusual is this pairing of a petite round cameo in a frame of faux pearls. Notice the tiny bow at the base of the "frame"!
Cameos in general are always beautiful, each being an individual work of art. During the great Victorian age of travel, many made pilgrimages to Europe, including Italy. While there, they were delighted to find beautiful hand made souvenirs from the Italian artisans. It would have been difficult to resist the lure that a beautifully rendered wearable sculpture emits! Thus they often returned with cameos in their jewelry rolls. Friends were delighted with the small works of art. Cameos were so popular that there were even classes so the amateur "wanna be" carvers could participate.
As cameos became more plentiful, their popularity didn't wane, but the subject matter changed from classical inspiration to portraits, characters in literature and Biblical scenes.
According to our research, scenic cameos are generally more valuable than bust cameo. A popular motif around 1860 was known as "Rebecca at the Well.". There are many variations on this theme, but they usually include a cottage, a bridge and a well.
This is an earlier brooch (note the "c" clasp on back. It is well made and not bent, so the tension in the pinback is excellent and stays put when fastened.
Not chipped or cracked.
The cameo alone has a3/4" diameter. Brooch is 2 3/8" x 1 3/8" (5.6 x 3 cm)
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