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Fine shell gem of Diana in gold setting with diamonds, around 1880

Diana, the queen of the hunt, stands here before our eyes with all her attributes: she carries a bow on her back, in her hair is emblazoned the crescent moon, which refers to this very bow. Her upswept hair flows in large curls from her head and she looks confidently into the world. Diana is dressed in a peblos, the classical garment of antiquity, which leaves a neckline and the arms free. The cut of the cameo is powerful and shows a practiced hand. The gem cutter has clearly separated the depicted figure from the brown background. The cameo, probably cut in Italy, is set as a brooch in an elegant and elaborate framing of gold. Based on the setting, we can date it to the years around 1880. Four diamonds set the framing in all directions and are accentuated by small golden ornaments, in between there are small natural pearls. The brooch, however, has a little secret, because the defiant goddess seems to guard a very special treasure: The back of the brooch shows a glazed compartment that was intended to serve as a medallion. Here, locks of hair of a beloved person or photographs could find admission, because the glass pane is hinged to open upwards. The gem was probably acquired in Italy as a travel souvenir, in order to be able to show this reference to classical education and the world of the south to loved ones in the cool homeland. The setting was probably created in the years around 1875 north of the Alps in order to turn the gem acquired in Italy into a brooch.

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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.

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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