Time Dances By
Layaway Available for Purchases of $200.00 or More
| JET WIND-SWEPT POSEIDON ( Victorian Jewelry Jet Poseidon Cameo Brooch ): Here is a majestic hand carved Antique Whitby Jet Cameo of the Roman
god, Neptune, also known as Poseidon in Greek mythology. Carved in
profile, this view of the Wind-Swept Sea god is facing left, indicating
a master carver. (c. 1860-80) The mighty and handsome god is pictured
with the sea wind flowing through his long locks, giving the appearance
of waves. The expression on his face is strong and resolute. Poseidon
reigned over the seas and oceans. It was a domain well suited to the
ill-tempered, volatile god who sent calm seas if feeling beneficent, but
caused storms and earthquakes when enraged. This regal carving shows
Poseidon with a headband in his flowing hair. I believe that part of his
hair forms a dolphin (see photos), but it does take some imagination.
The oval setting is thick polished jet. The backing is a plate of plain
silver with a C clasp closure. You can see the rivets holding the plate
to the cameo. Jet itself is very light, but the silver plate gives it
extra weight. Poseidon is a rare Cameo subject and an exciting find. Jet
makes it even more highly coveted. A fiery god, full of power and
majesty, this volatile god, Poseidon, demands to be noticed. A perfect
cameo for women attracted to strong mythological images. Not for the
Condition: Excellent. No cracks or chips.
Size: 2” high, 1 1/8” wide, 3/4” deep.
MELODIOUS MELPOMENE ( Victorian Jewelry Melpomene Muse of Tragedy Shell Cameo Brooch / Pin ): When I first fell in love with Antique Cameos, I quickly tired of most “pretty ladies” unless the carving was really special or they were made of the more unusual materials – coral, ivory, jet, lava or hard stone. Instead, I sought out the ones representing mythological characters or a famous real person. Researching them was part of the fun. Dealers often don't know the subject matter – as with this lovely lady bearing a mask. With my background in theatre I knew there would be a story here. Melpomene was a daughter of Zeus and Mnemoyne of Greek mythology. Mnemoyne was the personification of memory, but better known as the mother of the nine Muses. Melpomene was initially the Muse of Singing, but at some point was switched to the Muse of Tragedy – thus the mask of tragedy she has. Among her eight sisters were Thalia (comedy), Enterpe (music), Calliope (lyric poetry), Erato (love poetry) and Terpsichore (dance). Why did the Greeks transform Melpomene from the Muse of Singing to that of Tragedy? I could not find the answer, but it may have something to do with her mating (in some versions of the story ) with Achelous, chief of all river deities, to produce the infamous Sirens who “imitated the strains of their melodious mother” to lure sailors to their doom – i.e: Tragedy! Though dainty in size, this is a beautiful cameo with craftsman-like carving and a 14KT gold setting enhanced by a complete surround of small natural seed pearls. It has a solid gold backing with the original C clasp closure. It could be made into a spectacular ring! A rare gift any theatre person lover would adore. When asked, you can now tell the fascinating story behind this lovely lady!
Condition: Excellent. All pearls intact.
| NEPTUNE / POSEIDON, RULER OF THE SEAS ( Victorian Jewelry Shell Cameo
Brooch / Pin ): This is a majestic left facing (more rare) hand
carved Antique Shell Cameo brooch of the Roman god, Neptune, also known
as Poseidon in Greek mythology. He is shown holding his symbolic trident
staff and looking out over the sea. (c. 1880-90) The mighty and handsome
Neptune is pictured with the sea breeze flowing through his long locks.
The expression on his face is strong and resolute. His hair and beard
show a skilled carver’s hand – the front locks of his hair have a
wave-like appearance. Neptune reigned over the seas and oceans. He was
an ill-tempered, volatile god who sent calm seas if feeling beneficent,
but caused storms and earthquakes when enraged. Bezel set in a tested
9KT gold mount with textured cable-work and beading at the edge, the
setting is a perfect complement for the carving. The initials of the
jewelry artist are on the back of the setting – “J?G”. The original
brooch C clasp is still in place as is the safety chain. Neptune is a
rare cameo subject and an exciting find. Full of majesty and power, this
windswept god commands attention and demands to be noticed. Not for the
Condition: Very good. A few striations, the result of the natural drying of the shell. Not visible to the naked eye, only seen under magnification.
Size: 2” high, 1 ¾” wide, 3/8” deep.
| MAJESTIC PORTRAIT ( Victorian Jewelry Shell Cameo Brooch / Pin ): It
is very rare to find a rimless Cameo like this one, a stunning Victorian
Shell Cameo Brooch/Pin beautifully hand carved as an idealized classical
female head wearing a laurel wreath crown. (c. 1860-80) I believe that
this is a portrait cameo of a young Queen Victoria. By the second half
of the 19th Century the Cameo had become essentially an item of feminine
adornment. With Victorian travelers pouring into Italy on the “Grand
Tour” the demand for souvenirs increased the demand for cameos and what
could be better than a portrait of their beloved Queen Victoria. This
Cameo, created with its fabulously, ornately carved surround, is a work
of art requiring sculptural precision, great ingenuity and superlative
craftsmanship. I love the way the carver has used the shell to form the
elaborate scrolls and head from the white portion of the shell, leaving
the light caramel color to provide the background. This Antique Cameo
was probably only meant to be displayed, but at a later period
(1890-1900) the slightly curved shell was mounted in a prong setting of
9KT gold (marked). The pin back has a C clasp closure and safety chain.
If you study the back of the setting you will see that the jeweler
shaped the gold backing to fit the circular scrolls of the shell
providing support and guarding against breakage. A wonderful hand made
mount! This brooch is unusual and feminine, as well as eye catching. A
fantastic quality Cameo worthy of any museum or fine collection.
Condition: Excellent. Appears virtually unworn.
Size: 1 3/4" high, 2 1/8” wide, 3/8” deep.
| TRIPLE EMBODIMENT OF GRACE & BEAUTY ( Vintage Jewelry Three Graces Cameo
Earrings ): It is very difficult to find pretty Cameo Earrings
without spending a small fortune. I was lucky to find this impressive
pair of earrings with double cameos of The Three Graces displayed in
each earring. Set in 14KT gold with pierced ear wires, a large oval
Cameo is suspended from a smaller oval. (c. 1960-70) They are free
swinging and look fabulous when worn. In Greek mythology the three
goddesses of joy, charm & beauty were known as The Three Graces. The
daughters of Zeus, the Graces presided over banquets, dances and all
other pleasurable social events. They brought joy and goodwill to both
gods and mortals. The Graces were rarely treated as individuals, but
always together as a kind of triple embodiment of grace and beauty. In
art, they are usually represented as lithe young maidens dancing in a
circle. These Three Graces (also known as the Charities), draperies
swirling, stand with their arms on each other’s shoulders, facing each
other. This shows that their gifts were given, shared and returned.
Nicely carved, and rare to find two Cameos in each ear, these elegant
ladies are real charmers. One of the open backs is scratch-signed, but
indecipherable. Delicate, but dramatic, these are the kind of beauties
you can pass on to your family as a remembrance of caring and sharing. I
love the way they dance in your ears.
Size: 2 1/4" long, 1” wide.
|CAPTIVATING COMBINATION OF SHELLS ( Victorian Jewelry Cameo and
Tortoiseshell Bracelet ): This rare tortoiseshell and cameo bracelet
has been in my personal collection for over 20 years. Although in the
photos the bracelet setting appears to be jet black, it is actually made
of tortoiseshell. You are able to see its tortoiseshell coloring in the
transilluminated photo. Three hand carved oval shell cameos have been
inlayed into the center of three of the tortoiseshell links. (c.
1865-80) The tortoiseshell has been heated and shaped so that the curves
lay smoothly around your wrist. The inset cameos picture classical women
dressed in flowing draperies - the largest center oval depicts a
standing woman driving a chariot pulled by two horned goats. To the
right a seated maiden plays a harp and to the left another maiden plays
the flute seated beside two Grecian columns. The combination of two
different shells is rare and extremely striking. The center link uses
10KT gold hinged mounts that provide a touch of rich elegance to the
bracelet’s center piece. The bracelet closure is most unusual and
effective. You twist the clasp open, slide the pin in the slot and than
twist the clasp back to flat and the bracelet remains firmly closed on
your arm. The back of the link clasp is marked “TREVETATTO” (as best I
can tell). Tortoiseshell was considered suitable for half-mourning and
extremely popular with Victorians. This captivating bracelet is so
appealing when worn. Light and dainty, this is a combination of shell
work that is rarely seen.
Condition: Excellent. There are some fine scratches – they are antiques, too!
Size: Bracelet with clasp closed will fit a 6 1/2” wrist – a small to medium size. Center link is 7/8” high, 2” wide, 1/4” deep.
|GODDESS OF PLENTIFUL HARVEST ( Victorian Jewelry Demeter Shell Cameo
Brooch / Pin ): A superb hand carved Victorian shell cameo, this
brooch depicts the Greek goddess Demeter. (c. 1870) A regal deity, she
wears a crown of wheat sheaves. Demeter was the goddess of agriculture
and vegetation, a beneficent earth goddess who made everything grow and
ripen. A sister of Zeus, this kind, gentle goddess insured that mortals
always had plentiful harvests. She was also associated with fertility
and newly married couples often received gifts of wheat. This timeless
beauty has been carved with exquisite detail and depth. A large Antique
Cameo Brooch, it is mounted in an 18KT Gold link setting with delicate
touches of engraving on the outer links. The pin back retains its
original C clasp with a replacement pin stem. Remarkable in quality,
this Cameo Brooch conveys the essence of Victorian extravagance in
Condition: Excellent. A few age related light stress marks not visible to the naked eye. A few repairs to the back of the frame done with the addition of golden balls, rather than solder.
Size: 2 1/2” high, 2 1/8” wide, 1/4” deep. Cameo carving is 2” high, 1 1/2” wide.
| FLORA BRINGS SPRING ( Victorian Jewelry Shell Cameo Brooch / Pin ): This lovely hand carved Victorian Cameo Brooch depicts Flora, the Roman
goddess of flowers and the season of Spring. (c. 1880) This “mistress of
the flowers” symbolizes new life, spring, regeneration and hope. (A very
busy lady!) In this Antique Cameo daisies, roses and delicate leaves
have been daintily carved into her hair. Look at the serene beauty of
her facial features. The Sterling Silver setting for this bezel set
Flora is quite unusual. Wonderful swirls and scrolls provide a luxurious
lacy frame work of cool elegance. There is a C clasp closure and a tiny
ring for a safety chain on the back. The captivating silver setting
gives this “Flora” a very feminine touch. Something beautiful and
different for the lady who is seeking “that perfect Cameo”.
Size: 2 5/8” high, 2” wide, 3/8” deep. Cameo alone is 1 5/8” high, 1 1/4” wide.
|POMPEII REMEBRANCE ( Victorian Antique Pompeii Cameo & Hair Brooch / Pin ): This is an unusual combination – a cameo depicting the destruction of Pompeii along with curls of hair on the back (c. 1880-90). The port town of Pompeii was covered with 13-20 feet of ash and pumice when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. It was initially discovered in 1599 and rediscovered with excavation starting in 1748. Its artifacts were perfectly preserved. All the “right” people visited Pompeii on their travels and Italian Cameos were a popular travel souvenir. It is remarkable how this cameo artist found the various colors in the shell to depict the smoky appearing ash plume ascending from Mount Vesuvius, the white sky, the brown volcanoes, the lava flow descending over the town and the town itself. The hair, most likely from two travelers and decorated with gold wire and tiny seed pearls, makes this a very special travel souvenir. The cameo is set in a fancy gilt gold setting with a replacement C clasp pin back. An unusual addition for any Cameo Collection or Sentimental Hair Jewelry Collection. Remember Pompeii and these two continental travelers.
|CRESCENT MOON HUNTRESS ( Victorian Jewelry Cameo Brooch / Pin ): Meticulously hand carved from shell, this Victorian Cameo Brooch of
Diana, the goddess of the hunt, is portrayed in a most graceful and
unusual manner. (c. 1860-80) The entire background of the shell has been
carved away, leaving a dainty and feminine portrait of the goddess.
Diana was a beautiful wild maiden, a virgin huntress bearing a silver
bow and a quiver of golden arrows. She lived in the forest with an
attendant band of nymphs and hunting dogs. Identified with the moon
goddess, Selene, the crescent moon on her head became one of Diana’s
symbols. In this Victorian interpretation her “wildness” has been tamed
to suit the romantic Victorian style. Abundant hair curls and waves are
rendered with exquisite beauty. Her bow is visible on one side and the
quiver of arrows on the other. She wears a necklace of fine, tiny beads
and dress of flowing draperies. I believe that this carving was
originally a souvenir of the Victorian passion for travel. She may have
been placed in a shadow box. At a much later date, this Antique Cameo
was made into a splendid brooch by using the two jeweler tested 10KT
gold balls to attach the safety catch pin back. The shell itself is
slightly curved, making this Diana Cameo even more attractive. I’m so
glad she was made into a piece of wearable art to be shared by all who
Condition: Excellent. No stress marks. A few light scratches visible only under magnification.
Size: 2” high, 1 1/2” wide, shell is 1/8” thick. Curved it is 1/4” deep.
| CAMEO SOUVENIR OF POMPEII ( Victorian Jewelry Lava Cameo Brooch / Pin
): Victorians had a passion for travel and heading the list of tourist
sights were the newly uncovered ruins of Pompeii. Tourists, then as now,
were of a single mind when it came to taking home souvenirs to remind
them of their holiday and lava Cameos from Mount Vesuvius became the
mementos of choice. This large hand carved Lava Cameo depicts a superb
profile portrait of Dionysius (Greek) or Bacchus (Roman) the god of wine
wearing a crown of grapes, vines and leaves. (c. 1860-80) His cult of
mysticism with its elements of revelry and wine was extremely popular,
attracting a wild band of attendant revelers – playing music and dancing
with abandonment. Once his culture was secure he went to live on Mount
Olympus. Despite his reputation for drunken orgies, Dionysius was a kind
god. His attribute was the vine (the ambrosial plant) and the animals
associated with him were the panther, bull and goat. He is sometimes
shown holding a theatre mask symbolizing the link between Dionysius and
the development of Greek Theatre. This Victorian carving appears quite
serene and calm. Victorian carvers often toned down subjects like this
and Medusa so as not to offend Victorian ladies who found anything too
wild to be distasteful. The color of this Antique Lava Cameo is a very
pale shade of khaki (greenish beige). The very 3 dimensional carving
remains very crisp. It’s set in a silver twist ribbon mount with a
replacement C clasp, hinge and pin stem. It’s unusual to find a male
cameo subject, but this one is a significantly large and dramatic piece
of art / jewelry.
Condition: Excellent. No loss. There are a few superficial scratches, not visible to the naked eye.
Size: Large. 2 1/8” high, 1 7/8” wide, 1/2" deep.
|REGAL DEMETER ( Edwardian Jewelry Demeter Shell Cameo Pendant / Brooch ): A superb hand carved Edwardian shell cameo, this brooch depicts the Greek goddess Demeter. She is the Goddess of Plentiful Harvest in the Greek pantheon and this lovely cameo is certainly plentiful in all that it offers. (c. 1910) We who love cameos always love the option of wearing them as either a pendant or a brooch. Demeter was the goddess of agriculture and vegetation, a beneficent earth goddess who made everything grow and ripen. A sister of Zeus, this kind, gentle goddess insured that mortals always had plentiful harvests. She was also associated with fertility and newly married couples often received gifts of wheat. This timeless beauty has been carved with exquisite detail and depth. Notice the wheat crown, lovely ringlet hair, a Grecian draped gown and tiny beaded necklace. Not only is this an unusually large Antique Cameo Pendant/Brooch, it has an unusual 3-colored gold decorative setting. The cameo is bezel mounted in 14KT rose gold. The outer setting or 14KT gold, with its fine twisted wire surround, has four pairs of large green gold 3-dimensional leaves at the top, bottom and both sides. Each pair grows from a darker rose gold branch at its center with a small berry on either side. The base has long curved open slots between each pair of leaves. Such a 3 color setting goes perfectly with the Goddess of Harvest. There is a small circular double swivel bale at the top. I have added – and will include – a larger gold ring so that you can wear it with either a gold chain or neck wire. It has a rolled C clasp closure. This cameo conveys the essence of Edwardian extravagance in jewelry. Make it yours!
Condition: Excellent. No damage or striations. The photos with the colored backgrounds show the truest representations of the cameo. Those on white, the truest of the setting. Chain not included.
|BRASS WITH CLASS (Victorian Cameo & Brass Sash Brooch/Pin): I have kept and worn this striking piece of Art Nouveau jewelry for over
40 years. It's a large, bold piece and its color mix of “old gold” and
“coral” are striking. Except the “old gold” is brass and the “coral” is
celluloid. (c. 1870-1900) In a time when there were so many poor women,
the jewelry that most woman possessed was a Cameo (poorly carved) and a
sash pin. Here you have both in a quality piece. The brass work is just
lovely with a patina that you can only acquire with time. The flowers
and leaves add a delicacy to the whole pin. The coral colored “Cameo” is
made of molded celluloid. (Celluloid was invented in 1870 and was used
frequently. It could imitate amber, coral, ivory, pearl, tortoiseshell
and onyx or jet.) The use of celluloid made pieces affordable to the
lower classes. Jewelry artists delighted in using it to mimic insects
and other exotic motifs. The term “sash pin” was used for these larger
pieces of jewelry – you could use them as fasteners at your waist,
shoulder, collar or anyplace else that needed to stay closed. The back
has a C clasp closure that is very wide to make certain that it could
hold the weight of various fabrics. I love this romantic Antique Sash
Pin – it looks like it should cost more than it does. Picture it on
Size: Large. 2 1/4” high, 3” wide, 1/2” deep at center.
OPULENT & UNFORGETTABLE ( Edwardian Jewelry Antique Cameo Brooch /
Pin ): I was delighted to find this Edwardian Cameo Brooch with its
extravagant setting. (c. 1910-1920’s) The hand carved female seems to
represent a transitional period between Victorian and Art Deco. (Belle
Époque Edwardian period c. 1890-1920’s) This unsuspecting, charming
Bacchante - with grapes in her hair - is about to face a great change as
the “modern” woman of the 20’s emerges. The oval Cameo itself has been
enhanced by the later addition of an elaborate double frame of simulated
pearls and coral beads, set in jeweler tested Sterling Silver. I don’t
know when this work was done, but it certainly makes this brooch opulent
and unforgettable. Someone must have been very fond of this cameo to add
such masterful embellishments. This is gorgeous! There is a replacement
bar pin back with a safety clasp closure.
Condition: Excellent. A few tiny dings to coral beads, not visible except under magnification.
Size: Entire brooch is 2 5/8” high, 2 1/4” wide, 3/8” deep. Cameo is 1 3/4” high, 1 3/8” wide.
YOUNG GOD OF WINE & GREEK THEATRE ( Victorian Cameo Jewelry Swivel
Brooch / Pin ): We all know Dionysus as the hedonistic Greek god of
the Vine, Wine and Fertility. In this impressive Victorian Swivel Cameo
Brooch he is pictured as a sensual young god with long, flowing hair –
wearing a vine-wreath crown. (c. 1870) He holds a thyrus, an ivy
entwined staff topped with a pine cone, a fertility symbol. The carved
animal pelt over his shoulder appears to be a lion. Often his followers
wore masks and, from choragic literary contests known as “Dionysia”,
tragedy and comedy evolved. Quite grand in scale, this hand carved shell
cameo is bezel set in a swivel mount. The bold, gold plated link setting
is engraved with a floral & leaf motif and has a wire twist edging. The
swivel turns easily to reveal the original clear cover. The safety clasp
closure is a replacement. A wonderful Antique Cameo steeped in meaning
and memories of the Victorian era.
Condition: Excellent. An old solder repair at bottom of the swivel, but not visible from the front. Some wear to the plating.
Size: 2 3/4” high, 2 3/8” wide, 3/8” deep. Cameo is 1 3/4” high, 1 3/8” wide.
ROSY-FINGERED DAWN ( Victorian Jewelry Cameo Brooch / Pin ): The
romantic Victorians loved the subjects “Day” and “Night”, based on a
pair of bas-reliefs sculpted by Bertel Thorvaldsen in Rome, 1815. This
beautifully mounted Victorian hand carved shell cameo depicts the
goddess of Dawn, Aurora, accompanied by the Genius of Light holding his
torch aloft. (c. 1860-80) Aurora is seen scattering roses as she ushers
in the day. Homer described her as “rosy-fingered”. This Antique Cameo
is remarkable for its delicacy of execution and poetic feeling. The very
ornate setting is made of yellow gilt gold and features leaf and scroll
motifs. The C clasp and hinge are early replacements, but the pin stem
seems to be the original extended Victorian style pin. A “heavenly”
Cameo that reminds us that angels of many sorts greet us night and day.
Condition: Excellent. Some signs of wear to the mount commensurate with age. No visible cracks or stress marks. I believe that this setting may have been a bracelet clasp at one time that was redesigned as a brooch. There appears to be a slot for a clasp on the right side of the setting. That would explain the depth of the setting.
Size: 2 1/2” high, 2” wide, mounting on sides 1/2”deep. Best worn on a jacket or thick fabric because of the deep mount.
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