Una Donna della Campania

Brooch with shell cameo, gold setting & diamonds, Naples circa 1870

A ravishing shell cameo of the years around 1870 in a first-class gold setting. The masterfully cut work shows a country woman of Campania, the environs of Naples, in her elegant costume. She carries a basket full of flowers and shows herself in profile in her elaborate outfit with dress, hat and jewellery. Naples was a favorite destination of all travellers to Italy throughout the 19th century. People visited Vesuvius, the antique collections and Pompeii. But also the famous beauty of the Neapolitans and the women of the idyllic surrounding countryside, which Goethe had already described so enthusiastically, contributed to the charm of the area. Against this background, the cameo in its heavy, elaborately forged version was probably intended as a souvenir: a souvenir of the journey and at the same time a means of giving friends and relatives back home an insight into the experience. As a gift to a lady it had to result in a wonderful compliment at the same time, because the sung-about beauty of Neapolitan women is naturally also transmitted to the wearer of the brooch.

Shell cameos were created especially in the 19th century in Italy for travellers on a Grand Tour. This so-called cavalier tour, which should perfect the education of the travellers here, led to the antique buildings, into the art collections of Rome and Naples and the early tourists brought small souvenirs from their journey over 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.