Dawn

Fine shellgemme with depiction of the aurora in gold, around 1840

An unusual Italian shell cameo with a depiction of the Roman goddess Aurora is here set in gold and wearable as a brooch. In ancient mythology Aurora (Greek Eos) is considered the sister of the sun god Sol and the moon goddess Luna and is the personification of the dawning day - thus she stands for new beginnings and confidence. In a very beautiful, detailed cut, the slightly curved, two-coloured shell has been used here to represent the goddess of dawn. Flowers in her hair and a confident look make the depiction light and cheerful. A dove with a cornucopia is assigned to her as an attribute, representing the lightness of new beginnings and the promise of a happy future. The multi-passage setting of high-carat gold is engraved by hand. The cameo is possibly a souvenir of a Grand Tour through Italy and it was made in the years around 1840. The setting was apparently added in England a short time later. The cameo is perfectly preserved, the setting on the lower rim has been restored once in the past.

For centuries, the possession of antique cameos and gems was the claim of almost all great collections of decorative arts and cabinets of curiosities, from the Green Vault in Dresden to the treasury of Rudolf II to large private collections such as that of Baron von Stosch in later times. The 18th and 19th centuries then produced numerous large imprint collections of antique sealstones and gems, which were able to represent the ancient imagery of antique glyptic almost in its entirety, as they were also an expression of a humanistic education. Often figures of the Olympian heaven of gods or mythological scenes were the subject of the representations. Of particular importance for the transmission of stone and shell carvings north of the Alps have always been travellers to Italy, who brought home impressions and carved stones as well as engraved shells from their educational journeys in order to enjoy the stories that the shells could tell. The art of gem-cutting has survived to this day in Italy, especially in the Bay of Naples, where it has been passed down from generation to generation. Today, the Scuola dei Cammei in Torre del Greco is the only large-scale training centre for gem-cutters in Italy in the world, although unfortunately the mythological theme has been lost.

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.


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.

Play