The goddess of flowers

Unusual brooch with large shell cameo set in gold, around 1910

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, graceful, was the goddess of spring, flowers and crops. Artists depicted Flora as resembling a Greek springtime glory, as a blooming maiden adorned with flowers - and it is in just this form that we encounter her in this large, first-rate turn-of-the-century cameo. The goddess is depicted in profile, looking to the right. Against the orange-brown ground, the goddess stands out in bright colour. Richly, her full hair is adorned with blossoms and ears of corn. A butterfly has settled on her shoulder. Lush and graceful, a rich antique dress billows down from her shoulders. The depiction inspires with its powerful expressiveness, which reveals the influence of symbolism. The gem is set in light reddish gold; an elegant, delicate frame closes the work to the outside, making it wearable as a brooch. A first-class piece in impressive, rare size!

Shellgemes 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 gem at hand here will have been created for just 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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OUR PROMISE

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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