Cow-eyed Woman

Antique gold set shell cameo as brooch, Italy ca. 1870


€ 1,490.00 *
Content 1 piece
Unit price €1,490.00 / piece
Incl. VAT, Shipping
Antique gold set shell cameo as brooch, Italy ca. 1870
Antique gold set shell cameo as brooch, Italy ca. 1870
Description
This description was automatically translated from German. If you have any questions about this piece of jewellery, we will be happy to help!
Ideals of beauty change over the course of time. What was desirable a few centuries ago sometimes no longer seems relevant today. In classicism, for example, a healthy complexion was a sign of poverty; a pale complexion alone was considered beautiful. In the Baroque period, Peter Paul Rubens set the framework for the ideal of beauty of his era with his portraits of plump ladies seeking to convince with rich body fat, where today the Western world hungers for slimness. But as ideals change, so do compliments. Today, calling a lady a "cow" is considered unflattering. In classical antiquity, the valuation of the dairy animal in relation to the fair sex was entirely different. Thus one of the epithets of Hera, one of the most important goddesses of the Olympian heaven of gods, is "the cow-eyed one" and this was meant as a compliment. Because cows sometimes have really beautiful eyes! The beautiful brooch of the years around 1870 shows a finely cut cameo of bicoloured shell. The "cow-eyed woman" is depicted with finely graduated heights. Hera can be recognized by her diadem, the so-called Stepháne (Greek στεφάνη), which distinguishes her as a married woman. On our shell gem we see Hera in profile to the right. The beautiful setting of 14-carat gold shows filigree ornamentation and a brooch on the reverse makes the gem suitable for wearing as a brooch. The setting, workmanship and design language allow us to date the piece, which found its way to us in London, to the period around 1870. Do you also know a lady with eyes as beautiful as those of a cow? Then you have found a suitable gift here!
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A rather forgotten chapter of jewellery history today are the many substitutes for the expensive precious metals gold and silver that have been used over the centuries. The names of these inventions are legion, perhaps you have heard of Tombak or Alpacca, German silver or Argentan? In the 19th century, gold was often replaced by brass, alloys of copper and zinc. The London watchmaker Christopher Pinchbeck (ca. 1670 - November 18, 1732) invented a special alloy named after him, whose color was particularly close to gold and from then on became especially popular in England.
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Size & Details
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Antique gold set shell cameo as brooch, Italy ca. 1870
Cow-eyed Woman
€ 1,490.00 *
Content 1 piece
Unit price €1,490.00 / piece
Incl. VAT, Shipping
Our Promise
Our Promise
Our Promise

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos — this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.

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