Antique shell gem in gold setting, personification of fidelity, around 1880

We see the bust of a young woman cut into the shell of a sea snail. The finely engraved relief of the shell shows the graceful lady in profile to the right with her hair pinned up and adorned with ivy vines and ivy berries. The sitter in this cameo from Victorian times is Fides, the personification of loving fidelity. As firmly as ivy climbs a wall and does not let go again, fidelity binds two people together - which is why the ivy is an attribute of Fides depicted here. This Victorian symbolic language was also associated by the painter Philip Hermogenes Calderon in his painting "Broken Vows" (1856), in which he depicted a faithful lover in front of a wall overgrown with ivy. The gem is set in finely engraved gold, making it wearable as a brooch and as a pendant. It is in very good condition and came to us from London. The typical late Victorian piece of jewellery celebrates faithful love and is thus suitable as a gift for a wedding anniversary, for example.

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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.