Wear Flowers in Your Hair
Antique shell gem as brooch & pendant in gold, around 1850
The Roman heaven of the gods of antiquity knew many deities, for every conceivable concern and with the most diverse responsibilities. The goddess Flora, young, beautiful and graceful, was the goddess of spring, flowers and crops. Artists depicted Flora in a manner similar to a Greek springtime glory, as a blooming maiden adorned with flowers - and this is precisely the form in which we encounter her here. In the center of the mid-19th century gold-framed brooch, we see the goddess in profile in a first-rate cameo. Looking to the right, the portrait stands out against the orange-brown ground in light color. Richly her full hair is adorned with blossoms and flowers. An antique dress, a so-called peplos, flows lavishly and gracefully down from her shoulders. The cameo is set in light reddish gold; an elegant, very plain frame closes the work to the outside and makes the cameo wearable as a brooch. A retractable eyelet, which appears almost invisible when the piece is worn as a brooch, allows the cameo to be worn as a pendant as well.
To possess antique cameos and gems was the claim of almost all great collections for centuries: We find spectacular pieces as well in the Green Vault in Dresden, in the treasury of Rudolf II, up to the great private collections like that of Baron Stosch in later times. The 18th and 19th centuries produced numerous large imprint collections of antique seal stones and gems, which represent the antique imagery of glyptic almost in its entirety. Thus they were not least an expression of a humanistic education. Of particular importance for the transmission of stone and shell carvings north of the Alps have always been travellers to Italy, who brought home impressions and carved stones as well as engraved shells from their educational journeys in order to enjoy the stories that the shells could tell. The art of gem cutting has survived to this day in Italy, especially in the Bay of Naples, where it has been passed down from generation to generation. Today, the Scuola dei Cammei in Torre del Greco is the only professional training centre in the world for gem-cutters, although unfortunately the mythological theme has almost been lost as a subject.
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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.
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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.