Walk through fire

Antique "Lava" cameo of Dante set as a pendant-brooch, Naples circa 1870

Every traveler on the Grand Tour reached Naples sooner or later on his journey through Italy. The destination was desirable due to its location on the Gulf, the spectacular view of Mount Vesuvius, the gentle climate, its rugged yet enchanting cityscape and - last but not least - its wealth of immortal art treasures from antiquity. From the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which perished during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, so many spectacular art treasures had already been brought to Naples in the 18th century that the museums here enjoyed world fame. The visit was a mandatory stop in the city. Nor did anyone skip a visit to Pompeii itself, with its macabre allure. No wonder, then, that souvenirs of this trip were not to be missed: a local art industry emerged, producing especially cameos from coral, shells and colored local varieties of stone, which were sold as "lava" from the volcano. Objects made of this material were particularly appreciated by travelers. We can easily reimagine their fascination: To hold here in our hands a piece of the mountain that had brought such a gruesome end to the life of the Ancient World - but had also made possible its preservation for later generations! What better souvenir is conceivable? This piece of jewelry, which can be worn both as a brooch and as a pendant, presents a cameo of the very same material. We see Dante Alighieri, the poet from Florence, who was to leave his mark on literature forever with his work around 1300. Here we see him in profile. A laurel wreath, the crown of poets, lies around his head. The stone carving is held by a plain setting of silver. Created in the years around 1870, this piece of jewelry is a very special memorabilia from a trip to Italy in the 19th century. For dating and further information on this type of jewelry, see Charlotte Gere/Judy Rudoe: Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria, London: British Museum Press 2010, p. 494.

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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.