A remarkable shell cameo depicting Nyx, the goddess (or personification) of night, embracing her children. The cameo is based on the 1815 work of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844). Thorvaldsen's marble relief is a part of a pair representing the two halves of a day (day and night). The sculptures are currently held in the Thorvaldsen Museum.
The shell is expertly hand carved with amazing detail that is accentuated by the darker areas. This is especially seen in Nyx's wings. To represent the night, Nyx's and her children's eyes are closed and her hair is braided with poppies, the symbol of sleep in antiquity. The owl, a creature of the night, is in flight on the side. A 14k gold frame is hand fitted to the curving shell and features a braided rim. The cameo can be worn as a pin or a pendant. The bail can be retracted so it is not seen when worn as a brooch. Truly a work of art.
Unmarked, tested 14k, measures 2-3/8" by 2" (not including bail), lever clasp, retractable bail. Some shell growth lines seen at top above wings. Excellent condition.