During the Victorian era, wealthy families traveled throughout Europe on an extended vacation known as the Grand Tour. One popular stop on the Grand Tour was the ruins of Pompeii. As a souvenir of their travels, wealthy wanderers would often purchase lava cameos for themselves and also as gifts for loved ones back home. The cameos often portrayed historical statesmen, philosophers, and dignitaries.
This lava cameo brooch example features Persephone, the goddess of fertility, with pomegranates, pears, apples, and flowers in her hair. The three-dimensional carved hair, the daisy on her shoulder, and the traces of organic material within it emphasize the uniqueness of this treasure. The carving was executed to showcase a lovely fern trailing down the shoulder to the bottom.
Organic details like these are rare to find, and this piece shows the intersection of Earth's bounty of natural material. Although monotoned, there is amazing detail in her portrait, making this a stunning piece up close just as much as afar.
Materials and Features: 14k gold
Age/Origin: Italian, circa 1870
Measurements: 2" from top to bottom
Condition: Excellent condition. Minor associated age wear. The stone second from the top of the left earrings is likely replaced. Otherwise excellent.
Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.