Antique Victorian 14K Gold Hardstone Cameo PinAntique Victorian 14K Gold Hardstone Cameo PinAntique Victorian 14K Gold Hardstone Cameo PinAntique Victorian 14K Gold Hardstone Cameo PinAntique Victorian 14K Gold Hardstone Cameo PinAntique Victorian 14K Gold Hardstone Cameo Pin

Antique Victorian 14K Gold Rose Gold Hardstone Cameo Sardonyx Agate Black Enamel Cameo Pin Brooch

From the Victorian era C.1890 here is a rose gold pin/brooch that features a bit of black enamel work framing a lovely brown/cream sardonyx cameo of a renaissance lady facing left. The detail on the cameo is amazing and as usual, my pictures do it absolutely NO justice! The back of the pin has a safety catch to hold the pinstem in place. It does look like the mechanism is a later replacement but thankfully, it was cleanly done by a professional with gold solder used. While the front of the pin is clearly rose gold, the back of the pin shows both yellow and rose gold.

Condition: With regard to the cameo - there are no breaks, chips or cracks on the piece and yes, this means the NOSE! With regard to the enamel - The black enamel is pretty much perfect on both sides. I see a couple of specks (under a 10X loupe) on either side that might have been filled in but maybe my eyes are playing tricks. With regard to the setting - perfect!

Metal Content: 14K Gold - No hallmark as is the norm with American manufatured pins of this era. Metal was gently acid tested for content.

Size: 1-13/16" wide x 1-1/2" high

Weight: 9.5 grams

Final comments: The pin features a combination of techniques and styles - a bit of Etruscan wirework, some mourning enamel, some brite cut engraving, but somehow, all of the styles mesh together nicely. It's possible the brooch IS a mourning pin, but then again, it's possible the jeweler just thought the piece needed a darker accent color to highlight the center cameo. Wear as it was meant, or add a chain and wear as a pendant. Or add to a piece of velvet ribbon and wear as a choker. The possibilities with this piece are endless!

With regard to the hardstone - Sardonyx is a banded agate form of Chalcedony Quartz. cut primarily in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Once cut, the cameos would have found their way into jewelers workshops from Italy to England. Hardstone cameos are nearly always a good deal more expensive than shell cameos, because the material is more costly and much more difficult to carve. The finest carved pieces exhibit great attention to detail - you should be able to see every aspect of the figure without having to "squint" to see what you're looking at!


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Gold, 14K Gold
Cameo, Victorian

Antique Victorian 14K Gold Hardstone Cameo Pin


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