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* Late 1800's circa charming Carnelian shell cameo of the 3 Graces.
* For wear as a brooch. Crisp moderately detailed carving.
* Set in unmarked silver filigree mount, probably 800 silver.
* Size circa 50mm x 40mm. Weight approx. 12 grams.
* Very good antique condition with some age-commensurate wear.
This is a 3 Graces cameo carved from Carnelian shell. It is a Victorian piece from around the late 1890’s or thereabouts. This particular depiction of the 3 Graces is a modified detail derived from a painting by Antonio Canova from 1798. In the original painting the 3 graces dance, whilst to their left, the muse of song and dance Erato plays on her lyre. Further to the left a seated Mars, the god of war looks on appreciatively with his right arm around the infant god of love Cupid, who is seen standing at his side. A couple of dancing cherubs to the right of the 3 graces hold flaming torches high up in the air whilst another tiny cherub looks on in the background. This depiction of the 3 Graces was widely carved in the Victorian era and is even now very popular with cameo collectors. The downside to their popularity was that most of these cameos were produced as commercial souvenirs. To this end, they were never carved highly detailed but rather were stylistic in nature. It is extremely rare to come across a 3 graces cameo that shows ample and fine detail. This particular piece is carved in the typical way that these cameos were carved, that is almost stylistically. Having said that, it still has more details than most and the carving is crisp.
The shell has subdued hues of peaches and buttery tones, with the lighter colored creamy-white depiction of the 3 Graces standing out in good contrast. There are no serious defects or damages to the shell but it does have some fine internal striations, typical for shells of this age. The cameo is mounted onto a silver filigree frame that is untested but it is probably 800 silver. It once had a gold wash over it which all but disappeared. The mount is quite tarnished and would benefit from a clean. This piece may be worn as a brooch and fastens by means of its original hinged pin and c clasp mechanism. The pin rests somewhat loosely in the grove of the c clasp but the cameo holds up well when worn. The condition of the cameo is surprisingly good considering its ripe old age of around 120 years. Of course, there is the normal aging and wear that is to be expected, in particular to the mount as described above. The brooch is a nice size being circa 5cm by 4cm including the mount, and weighs around 12 grams. It is both charming and wearable.
Kindly see the photos as they compliment the description. Colour of photos will vary according to monitor colours so will never be accurate in person. I do try to get it as close as possible on my calibrated monitor.
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REGARDING RETURNS AND REFUNDS
- Unmarked silver filigree metal. Carnelian shell.
- Width (cm):
- Height (cm):
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