Italy in Bohemia

Vintage shell gem in garnet wreath as pendant in gold, around 1970

This pendant presents an Italian shell gem in a wreath of Bohemian garnets and four small pearls. A garnet-studded flower shape forms the eyelet to hold the gold chain. In this way, the Bohemian stones, which have become rare today, stand as companions to the beautiful vintage shell gem. The garnets shine in mysterious dark red and their deep glow enchants at first sight and frames the shell carving worthily. A fourteen-carat gold setting with a matching gold chain makes the beautiful work wearable. To this day, cameos like the one set here are cut in the Bay of Naples, especially in the town of Torre del Greco. In addition to shells, large sea snails are also used, which are artfully carved by hand until the desired motif comes to light. While in earlier cameos of the 19th century the representations mostly depict themes of classical antiquity and portraits of ancient deities, cameos of the 20th century are often more decorative in nature without a mythological background. In the cameo presented here, we see a young lady wearing a bouquet of flowers on her shoulder. A charming piece of jewellery in strong colours and beautiful materials.

The garnet, as a dark and mysterious stone has always been the object of desire of people of all ages. Garnet jewelry fits almost every occasion and is therefore not only worn in the evening or on festive occasions. Most commonly used are the dark red pyrope garnets, which we also find in the piece of jewellery presented here. These gemstones come from localities in Bohemia and delight with their deep and rich color. Since garnet as a gemstone is relatively insensitive, garnet jewelry once purchased can be a companion for a lifetime.

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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.