Of love and marriage

Quality shellgem of Ariadne as pendant in gold, around 1870

In earlier days, jewellery served far more than it does today to express one's moods and feelings of the day. In a world in which many topics were taboo for a conversation with decency and personal feelings often had to be excluded from society, this was sometimes an outlet to still be able to communicate about it. A popular medium for this was the cameo. The British author Edward Good wrote in his text "Cameos and Inspiration Jewellery" in 1914: "Amongst the thousands of mythological, classical, and historical subjects which the artists of old depicted on cameos, one can always find a cameo that is a true expression of one's mood of thought and inner soul. Once you get one you really like, the attachment to it is almost human. After all, what is the old mythology if not the mirror of life and death, love and disappointment of our natural prehistoric forefathers?" The quality-cut cameo here is no exception. It shows a young lady, with flowing hair. Ivy is tied into her hairstyle, long curls reaching down to her shoulders. A wide frame of gold turns the work into a pendant, and a small dove as a symbol of love forms the loop with which the piece of jewellery can be worn. Depicted is Ariadne, the wife of Bacchus and lover of Theseus. According to Greek mythology, Ariadne was a Cretan king's daughter. She helped Theseus defeat Minotaur and fell madly in love with him, but was forced by the gods to marry Dionysus, the god of wine. The latter stole her royal diadem from her and flung it high into the sky, where it became the constellation of the Northern Crown. She subsequently bore Dionysus several sons, including Oenopion, who personifies wine-making. Ariadne, however, despite her union with Dionysus, remained in love with Theseus as well and bitterly mourned his death. So there is more to the portrayal of the beautiful woman than first suspected. It is a story of love and the renunciation of it, of socially desired marriage and falling in love without rules, that is contained here. And which can only be understood by those who know the story behind the sparkling brooch, which shows the portrait of a calmly gazing young lady in perfect beauty.

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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.