Travelers on the Grand Tour of Europe found the newly excavated ruins of Pompeii to be an irresistible stop. Lava trinkets from these sites made for excellent and inexpensive souvenirs, easy to pack and carry. In addition, pinning a lava cameo on ones’ blouse proved the wearer to be a well-traveled person of culture and good taste. The local industry was equal to the demand and created many cameos and intaglios out of this unlikely material to the unending delight of the tourists. These beautiful carvings were set into rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Subject matter included archaeological motifs, statesmen, bacchantes, satyrs, portraits and mythological gods and creatures. https://www.langantiques.com/university/lava-jewelry/
This large brooch is a wonderful example of antique lava jewelry produced around Naples and near the ruins of Pompeii from lava rock formed during the explosion of Mount Vesuvius. Set in a frame of 14 karat yellow gold, it easily transitions from a brooch to a pendant with a hinged bale. The hand carved cameo depicts a Bacchante, a female follower of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. An elaborate headdress of grape leaves and clusters cascades down the lady's hair, and she wears a lovely draped garment with a circular fastener. She exudes an air of serenity, with her soft gaze and sweet smile. A beautiful and fascinating souvenir from the past, ready to take a prized place in your collection!
Dimensions: 41mm x 33mm
Weight: 21.4 grams
Materials: Gold, carved lava cameo
Metal: 14K yellow gold
Condition: Excellent antique condition