This is a remarkable antique cameo boasting masterful, delicate carving and a lustrous bezel made of 14 karat yellow-gold.
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, conch shell.
The mottled peach and pink shades of the conch shell make a dazzling backdrop for the bright, light-colored carving.
The carving depicts a female figure in profile. She wears a classic Roman toga, while her hair is styled in the manner of Ancient Roman aristocracy.
As you can see, her hair is carved in exquisite detail, as is her face. She wears several bands around her tightly-piled coif as a feather adds a stylish touch.
A classic "C"-style brooch clasp on the reverse of the piece make it easy to wear and display. There is a mark on the "C"-clasp which reads "14K".
The brooch has been professionally tested to ensure the purity of the gold.
There is a small piece of brass wire soldered to the interior of the bezel (on the reverse), holding the carved cameo securely in place.
It shows some oxidization and a few areas of light verdigris. This wear is purely cosmetic.
Overall, this cameo remains in excellent antique condition.
Measurements: Brooch is 1 5/8" tall, 1 1/8" wide and 3/8" deep Weight: 10 grams (0.35 oz)