This is an exquisite antique cameo set in lustrous 14 karat yellow gold.
It is quite old, and bears some of the classic design elements typical of the Victorian era.
Cameos have a storied history that dates as far back as the Roman Empire.
A cameo is typically created by carving a high (or positive) relief image into stone, glass, coral or, in the case of this piece, shell.
This antique cameo brooch is an exquisite example. It features an elegant female profile (a classic motif in cameo-making).
The figure is pictured from the neckline up and faces left.
Many of these female figures (often referred to as the "anonymous Victorian woman") are pictured with flowers in their sweeping, highly detailed hair. This one is a stellar example of the look.
As you can see, the carved cameo is set in an all-encompassing tooth-bezel which is in turn surrounded by an open, decorative frame.
The top, bottom and sides of the frame are gracefully accented with flowers and scrolls.
There is a tradition roll-over safety brooch clasp on the reverse of the piece as well as a small bale near the top.
This gives the cameo great versatility in the ways it can be worn or displayed.
Finally, a mark on the reverse of the frame reads "G14K". The piece has been professionally tested to ensure the purity of the gold.
There are some areas of deep oxidization around the bezel as well as some slight wear to the frame. However, the cameo carving shows no scratching at all.
Overall, this exquisite piece remains in very good antique condition.
Measurements: Cameo in setting measures 1 5/8" tall, 1 ¼" wide and ½" deep, Cameo (alone) measures 1 1/8" tall, ¾" wide and approx. 1/8" deep Weight: 8.7 grams (0.31 oz)