Distinguished companion

Pretty cut cameo from shell in gold, Italy circa 1880

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 world's only professional training centre for gem-cutters, although unfortunately the mythological theme world as a subject has been almost completely lost. Gems from the Bay of Naples were already popular travel souvenirs in the 19th century. The shell cameo presented here was also certainly created in the shadow of Vesuvius, in the late years of the century. It shows in routine cut the profile of a young lady with raised head. Carved out of the shell of a large sea snail, the head stands out in profile in white against its dark background. The lady depicted has no specific attributes, so that we can only assume that she is a goddess or a muse on the basis of her antique garb, although we are unable to determine her precisely. The cameo was set in gold shortly after its creation and has been wearable as a brooch ever since.

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.