Apollo of Belvedere

Antique shell cameo in a modern red gold setting, circa 1870/2010

To possess antique cameos and gems has been the ambition 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 as in 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 imprints and carved stones as well as engraved shells from their educational journeys in order to enjoy the stories that the shells could tell. The pendant here presents a 19th century gem carving in the shell of the so-called carnelian shell: the profile portrait of a young man in classical antique garb stands out in off-white against the dark carnelian clay of the background. It is the representation of the god Apollo, known to us in this form through the world-famous statue in the Belvedere courtyard of the Vatican described by Winckelmann. His gaze is to the right, his leonine hair is adorned with a ribbon and a large hair bow is also cut into the shell as a distinguishing feature of this specific representation of Apollo. The more recently made setting of warmly lustrous rose gold echoes the curved natural shape of the historic conch shell and elegantly and securely frames the piece. As the patron god of the arts, Apollo, rendered in beautiful proportions, should not be missing from any collection of antique gems.

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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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.

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