Tell Me Where the Flowers Are

Italian Shell Cameo of the Goddess Flora in Gold as a Brooch, Around 1880

Shell cameos with mythological motifs were created especially in the 19th century in Italy for travellers on a Grand Tour. This so-called cavalier tour, which was intended to perfect the travellers' education, took them to the ancient monuments and art collections of Rome and Naples. The early tourists brought back small souvenirs from their trip across the Alps, which were supposed to tell of the experiences of the Italian journey. The present cameo was probably also created in Italy and found its way from there to Germany. The oval cameo shows a figure from classical mythology: we see the goddess Flora, recognisable by the luxuriant floral decoration in her hair. The immortal young lady, beautiful and graceful, was the goddess of spring and flowers. The artists depicted Flora similar to a Greek spring glory, as a graceful, flower-adorned maiden - and in exactly this form we also encounter her in this cameo. An elaborate gold setting makes the depiction wearable as a brooch. It features a pattern of hallmarked prong bands and fine twisted cords. We have attached a safety clasp so that the brooch can be worn without worry. The cameo came to us from southern Germany. It is in very good condition.

Shell cameos were created in large numbers in southern Italy in the nineteenth century, especially for travellers from the far north of Europe. They visited the ancient monuments, studied the art collections of Rome and Naples, and brought home small souvenirs from their travels. The cameo at hand here will have been created for such an occasion. As a gift for a mistress or even a future wife, the comparison with the beauty of the goddesses depicted had to flatter the recipient - and at the same time could be understood as a signal of hope that the marriage would also bear rich fruit in the future.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.