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“NIGHT & DAY” YOU ARE THE ONE ( Victorian Jewelry Shell Cameo Brooch / Pendant ): Perhaps Cole Porter was inspired to write his famous song “Night & Day” by Bertel Thorvaldsen's Roman Reliefs (1815) of the Greek Goddesses of Night & Day. Certainly many works of art have been based on this Danish artist's most famous work – now hanging in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. “Day & Night” is one of the most desirable and sought after cameo subjects. This beautifully hand carved Antique Shell Cameo (c. 1850-70) depicts the head and shoulders of both goddesses floating on a bank of clouds. It contains the most popular elements of each. On the left Day (Eos / Aurora) has her head thrown back and with her eyes wide open as she looks up and welcomes the rising sun. She wears a crown of roses which bloom in the daytime. On the right Night (Nyx / Nox) looks down with her eyes closed in sleep. She wears the veil of night and crown of poppies – symbols of sleep and dreams. In front of them is an eagle representing Zeus, father of all the gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. This relatively large Victorian Cameo Brooch is in a Sterling Silver bezel setting decorated by two encircling ropes of silver. On the reverse is a replacement hinge and pin stem with the original C clasp in excellent working condition. There is a sturdy loop at the top meant for a safety chain. I have added a ring bale to show how it can be worn as a pendant, giving you added flexibility. A lovely gift for any woman. I don't know about your husband, but mine wants to give me beautiful things – he just needs a little push in the right direction. Porter's next line says it all - “Only you 'neath the moon or under the sun.”

Condition: Excellent. On the translucent view you can seen two very feint fine lines above Day's head which appear to be stress marks, however even with a loop I cannot see them on the front or back surface, so they must be internal only. (Ring for bale included.)
Size: 2 3/8” high, 1 7/8” wide, 1/2” deep.





WOODLAND SPIRIT ( Antique Victorian / Georgian Bone Cameo Brooch / Pin ): This is a rare Early Georgian Bone Cameo Brooch. (c. 1800-20) The subject matter of this beautifully hand carved French Cameo is an exotic tree spirit as indicated by the large fancy leaf setting above and below (curved forward at the top) with scrolls on both sides. It is unusual due to the deep reverse carving probably done to give the piece a completely open mouth. The eyes are very penetrating. Note the beaded necklace which is actually hanging from the scrolls. The cameo has an excellent patina and the grain can be seen on the final close-up photo. It has its original C clasp closure and extended pin stem. I have never seen a Cameo like this and I love its exotic nature. A special addition for your collection!

Condition: A few fine lines at base of leaves at top. Barely visible to the naked eye. No broken leaf tips.
Size: 2 1/2" high, 1 3/4" wide, 3/4" deep.





LADIES OF THE SEA ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Coral Cameo Earrings ): Coral has been a symbol of beauty, hope and protection since classical times. (Coral was the most popular gift for babies.) These feminine carved Mediterranean Coral Earrings (c. 1870-80) are set in 14 KT gold. The center of each earring has a miniature hand carving of a classical lady's face. The faces are surrounded by eight round coral beads and accentuated by three torpedo shaped free swinging coral dangles. The original pearls have been replaced by new white faux pearls – this was probably done because of wear or loss. There are 14 KT pierced ear wires. When you wear these pretty ladies they seem to “dance” in your ears giving a very enchanting life to the earrings. The color of the coral is a vibrant salmon-orange. Coral is a product of sea life and a soft material. When carving, the waste is great, which accounts in part for the high cost of true coral. Mediterranean Coral is not longer available so it will become more and more rare and valuable. Don't pass up these striking “dancing” ladies – the compliments will just keep coming! You won't be disappointed.

Condition: The coral is in very good condition. There is a small chip in the top, back of the left central dangle. The faux pearls are replacements but don't diminish the value of the coral.
Size: Medium. 1 3/4” long, 1/2” wide, 3/8” deep.





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 timid!

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.
Size: 1 3/8” high, 1 1/8” wide, 1/4” deep.





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 timid!

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.




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 jewelry.

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.



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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 see her.

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.
Size: Total: Large. 2 5/8” high, 2” wide, 1/2” deep. Cameo: 2” high, 1 1/2” wide.





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 black velvet!

Condition: Excellent.
Size: Large. 2 1/4” high, 3” wide, 1/2” deep at center.



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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.



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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.





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