From ancient gods

Large shell cameo depicting Mars and Bellona, c. 1875

The past and its different epochs were a great fascination for the people of the 19th century. Objects and stories from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were received just as much as the art and myth of antiquity. It was not only the well-known, great novels such as Ivanhoe or the Three Musketeers that brought the past so vividly to mind. Architecture and arts and crafts also borrowed from these epochs, which were understood as great and important. This brooch bears witness to the era's enthusiasm for the legends and sagas of classical antiquity. We see a two-figure scene. Mars and Bellona are having a rendezvous, two gods of classical antiquity. Bellona (from Latin bellum "war") was a goddess of war in Roman religion, as was Mars, the god of war. In later Roman mythology, Bellona was considered the sister, daughter or wife of Mars, the god of war, and sometimes his charioteer or muse. Here it can be assumed that the cameo engraver has chosen the variant of the wife, because Mars is shown side by side with the laurel-wreathed goddess. Mars is splendidly equipped and presents his bearded face under an impressive helmet. Armour and shield identify him as a warrior. A delicate band of clouds locates the scene in divine Olympus. A simple setting of lightly gilded silver makes the cameo wearable as a pendant. The piece of jewellery shows the 19th century's enthusiasm for classical antiquity on a beautifully crafted level. A wearable collector's item.

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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.