Holde Hera

Beautiful agate cameo as brooch in gold, around 1900

Gem jewellery was particularly popular in the historicism of the late 19th century. The present brooch from around 1900 shows that other styles also made use of this medium. The cameo cut from two-coloured layered stone shows a figure from Greek mythology. A well-known deity of antiquity is presented in an extremely detailed cut, which has been depicted throughout the centuries by various artists from the Renaissance to the modern age. This is the goddess Hera (Juno in Greek), who in antiquity had the task of watching over marriage and childbirth. She is recognizable by her typical hair ornament, a kind of diadem, which is stuck in her rich hair and which distinguishes her as a married woman. The conception of the goddess' head radiates the elegant neo-classicism of those years. The extremely finely crafted framing of engraved gold provides a setting that is as elegant as it is fitting. The workmanship of the gold is of astonishing finesse. Even the back, which is invisible when worn, is meticulously crafted. Six small natural pearls enrich the design. An interesting piece of jewelry from the mythical world of Greek antiquity, in grandiose implementation of the penultimate turn of the century.

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.