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Lot 0254 Details

We are very pleased to offer this stunning shell cameo pin/pendant featuring a bird perched on a flowering branch. It is set in sterling silver (marked 925) and has a twisted gold ring around the outside. This lovely pin measures 1.125 inches in diameter and has fold over pendant ring and a roll over clasp. This treasure came from the living estate of Ailene & Buddy Ford; noted dealers and lifelong collectors of valuable antique & vintage heirlooms *** Weight: 6 grams - Measurements: 1.125 inches diameter x .25 inch. **** Ancient and Renaissance cameos were made from semi-precious gemstones, especially the various types of onyx and agate, and any other stones with a flat plane where two contrasting colors meet, and as a result are termed hard-stone cameos. In modern work, shell and glass are much more common. Modern cameos can be produced by setting a carved relief, such as a portrait, onto a background of a contrasting color. This is called an assembled cameo. Alternatively, a cameo can be carved by the traditional, but far more difficult, method directly out of a material with integral layers or banding, such as (banded) agate or layered glass, where different layers have different colors, and sometimes dyes are used for enhancement. Although occasionally used in Roman cameos, the earliest prevalent use of shell for cameo carving was during the Renaissance, in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Renaissance cameos are typically white on a grayish background and were carved from the shell of a mussel or cowry, the latter a tropical mollusk. *** The technique has since enjoyed periodic revivals, notably in the early aforementioned Renaissance, and again in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Neoclassical revival began in France with Napoleon's support of the glyptic arts (glyptic art consists of a sunken or depressed engraving or carving on a stone or gem, and on cameo), and EVEN HIS CORONATION CROWN WAS DECORATED WITH SMALL CAMEOS! xxxxx. In Britain, this revival first occurred during King George III's reign, and his granddaughter, Queen Victoria, was a major proponent of the cameo trend, to the extent that they would become mass-produced by the second half of the 19th century. In the mid 18th century, explorations revealed new shell varieties. Helmet shells (Cassis tuberosa) from the West Indies, and queen conch shells (Eustrombus gigas) from the Bahamas and West Indies, arrived in Europe. This sparked a big increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells. Conch shells carve very well, but their color fades over time. After 1850 demand for cameos grew, as they became popular souvenirs of the Grand Tour among the middle class.
XA - J12 - Excellent condition
Buyer's Premium
  • 15%


Estimate $115 - $125Feb 20, 2016
Starting Price $1
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Ships fromSHEFFIELD, AL, United States

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