A cameo is a form of glyptography, or bas-relief carving, most often cut into glass, hard-stones, and shells. Artworks were crafted to create two layers on one piece of material, the top of which protruded from its background, creating a multi-dimensional artwork. These detailed reliefs were often used to adorn pieces of jewelry, including brooches, necklaces, bracelets and rings. The earliest cameos took inspiration from prehistoric petroglyphs, which documented important religious and symbolic iconography onto rock faces.
Victorians loved cameos, and wore them prolifically throughout the era. Our serene gentlelady has a modest stance and a sweet half smile upon her lips. Her garb seems to be a tribute to Heraldic times, which is consistent with the Victorian's love of romantic literature and motifs.
This gorgeous little full-figure cameo ring was converted from an antique brooch, depicting a Roman Vestal Virgin, sworn virgin priestesses of the goddess Vesta who also presided over several sacred rites and rituals. We have named this piece after the Vestal Virgin Tarpeia, who infamously betrayed the city of Rome to the Sabines and was killed by them.
Size (can be resized): 6.5
Weight: 6.6 grams
Materials: Gold, hardstone cameo
Metal: 18K yellow gold (ring top); 14K yellow gold shank
Condition: Very good antique condition