The day has dawned

Victorian shell gem after Thorvaldsen as brooch, around 1875

This fine Victorian shell gem features a finely carved depiction of the goddess Aurora or Eos, the goddess of dawn. The roses to her fingers echo ancient descriptions such as those of Homer, who described the goddess as "rose-fingered", referring to the colours of the sunrise. The motif of our brooch follows one of the most famous depictions of the Aurora. It was created by Berthel Thorwaldsen, the famous Danish sculptor. In 1836 he created a marble relief of the goddess carrying the Genius of Light on her back. It is now in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen, together with its counterpart, the "Night". The shell-gem here repeats Thorvaldsen's pictorial invention very closely and was presumably mediated via engraving patterns that Thorvaldsen had already had made from his relief. An elaborate gold framing in the archaeological style encloses the finely cut gem and makes it wearable as a brooch. The framing of 15-carat gold is designed in the forms of the years around 1875, so we can date the work to those years. It is likely that the gem, carved in Italy, was brought to Britain by a traveller and was probably first set there. The brooch immediately captivates with its fine cut and graceful motif. It is a wonderful addition to any gem collection and can also be worn to great effect.

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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