Summer Wine

Magnificent shell cameo of a bacchante as a brooch in gold, around 1875

A shell cameo of the late 19th century presents the piece of jewelry here. Shown in profile, we see a beautiful young lady with flowing hair, antique dress and a rich ornament of vine leaves and grapes. A plain setting of gold holds the cameo and makes it wearable as a brooch. The sitter is a so-called Bacchante, a follower of the Roman god Bacchus, who was famous and infamous for his lavish feasts, the so-called "Bacchanalia". The image of the bacchant in the history of Western art is strongly influenced by the form that the cult, which was originally Greek, took among the Romans. The Roman Bacchanalia probably originated from spring festivals. At the beginning of the 2nd century BC, the cult celebrations then developed into excessive revelries accompanied by dances and orgies, which took place in secret. In later centuries, bacchants became synonymous with celebrating fun-loving people, but especially with lovers of good wine. Our shell cameo, created in the years around 1875, shows one of these bacchantes in her enchanting beauty. The cut of the cameo is extremely vivid and rich in detail and testifies to the high skill of the Italian cameo carvers who once created it. Especially the berries and the vine leaves leave us amazed in their finesse of execution. Thus, this piece of jewelry is particularly suitable to be a gift for a lady or gentleman who is not averse to the pleasures of life.

Shells with mythological motifs were created especially in the 19th century in Italy, especially for travelers on a Grand Tour. This so-called cavalier tour, which should perfect the education of the travelers, led to the ancient buildings, to the art collections of Rome and Naples and the early tourists brought from their journey small souvenirs across the Alps, which should tell of the experiences of the Italian journey.

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.