Antique 9K & Carved Shell Cameo Conversion Ring

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  • Regular price $1,195.00

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.

Despite its popularity in previous periods, the most well-known era for cameo collection was the 19th century, inspired by royal cameo collectors Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte. 

Victorians were enchanted by ancient civilizations and often picked up cameos as souvenirs while on the 'Grand Tour'. They would bring them back to their homes and have them set by a local jeweler. This piece most likely is the result of just such a situation. A full length female figure holds a shield as her diaphanous garments swirl in the breeze. Traditionally, the shield is associated with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena (Minerva in Roman mythology), and Italian artisans frequently portrayed mythological characters in their cameos. A wonderful ring, perfect for cameo collectors and all who admire the Classics! 

Details (approximate)

Size (can be resized): 7.75

Dimensions: Ring top is 1.25"

Weight: 4.38 grams

Materials: Gold, Carved Shell Cameo

Metal: 9K yellow gold

Marks: None

Condition: Excellent Antique condition commensurate with age and wear