In good company

Large earrings with shell cameos of Hera in gold, around 1870 and later

The pantheon of the gods of antiquity knew deities for every conceivable concern and with the most diverse responsibilities. They structured the lives of people from birth to death and also ordered the course of time. The present large earrings show the supreme of the ancient goddesses. Cut from bicoloured shells, they show Hera (Juno in Greek), sister and also wife of Zeus. In antiquity, Hera had the task of watching over marriage and childbirth. Here she is enthroned under a velum with a scepter in her hand. She is recognizable by her typical hair ornament, a kind of diadem (the so-called Stepháne, Greek στεφάνη) in her rich hair, which distinguishes her as a married woman. Her second attribute is the peacock, which appears in the two cameos at her feet and which in other representations pull her chariot. In both cameos the cutter worked from the same template. The cameos are held by a setting of gold and were once part of a large bracelet that came to us incomplete. Our goldsmith has fitted them with earwires, added a pearl and made them wearable as ear jewellery. Created in the years around 1870, the gems now make a quality pair that draws beautifully from the mythical world of classical antiquity!

The technical and scientific development of Europe in the 19th century had made historical science the leading discipline of the time. New excavations in Italy opened up hitherto unknown epochs of European history, and the early civilizations in particular experienced a hitherto unknown interest. In Italy, the Etruscans in particular were rediscovered and their arts and crafts became known beyond the country's borders. Beyond the narrow confines of the university, the citizens of the European states also became enthusiastic about the new discoveries and sought to own jewellery, furniture and custhandic crafts in these exciting new forms. In Rome, the Castellani firm became particularly famous in this context: Fortunato Pio Castellani and his sons explored the Etruscans and were soon offering first-class jewellery for the crowned heads of the continent, adopting the formal language of these early inhabitants of the Italic peninsula. But in Germany, too, their work, which quickly became known under the term "archaeological style", was received with interest and fused with the forms of their own history.

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.


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.