Your image, carved in stone

Unusual cameo brooch with medallion, England circa 1850

To possess antique cameos and gems was the claim of almost all great collections for centuries: We find spectacular pieces as well in the Green Vault in Dresden, in the treasury of Rudolf II, up to the great private collections like that of Baron Stosch in later times. The 18th and 19th centuries produced numerous large imprint collections of ancient sealstones and gems, which represent the ancient imagery of glyptic almost in its entirety. Gem jewellery was particularly popular in Victorian England. The present brooch dates from this period and surprises by its rare motif: instead of the often common portrait of a lady or the depiction of an ancient deity, a small scene is shown here: a cute putto has raised a hammer and is chiseling at the bust of a beautiful lady resting on a pedestal and pedestal. The putto is clad only in a loincloth and a bouquet of blossomed flowers can be seen behind him. The scene is beautifully sculpted from a shell, and the white lime layer of the shell contrasts effectively with the dark background. Presumably the cameo is a love offering for its statement is as beautiful as it is telling. The genius of love himself carves the image of his beloved in stone and preserves it for eternity. An elaborate setting of the nauralistic style of the 1850s holds the shell gem and turns it into a brooch. But the piece of jewellery has a little secret that underpins the acceptance of the gift of love: on the back of the cameo there is a medallion that provides space for a lock of hair or a photograph of a loved one. The highlight of the piece is that the medallion and cameo are set in a so-called "swivel mount" so that the two representations can be rotated along a vertical axis in the framing. This allows the contents of the medallion or the cameo to be presented in the brooch. The frame itself is elaborately designed and is made of so-called pinchbeck, a brass alloy that has been used in England since the 18th century as a decorative substitute metal for gold. The lovingly designed piece of jewellery came to us as a London.

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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.