Particularly challenging to find, French shell cameos set in 18ct are things of wonder. Especially from the middle of the Napoleon III period, they posess a different type of archaeological revival aesthetic than English or American jewelry of the era... For they seek to revive not only the classical works that the reference, but the archaeological craze that all early 19th c French objects d'art reference because of Napoleon I's obsession with the ancient world. The Napoleon III period will often utilize "empire" style elements like cornices, frames, and diamond embellishment in decorative jewels, but this cameo of Flora is a museum quality example of this reviving revival aesthetic.
Benefitting from a beautiful original 18ct setting, with a reeded frame, one of my favorite features are the six riveted diamond Xs that decorate the exterior of the cameo, and the diamond decorated bail that is in pink gold to contrast with the yellow of the frame, and match the meticulously refined bezel.
I absolutely adore this cameo and think it is such a delightful example of the work that France was known for in the 19th c.
Age/Origin: High napoleon III period, 1855-1860, French
Measures: 2.5" tall, 3" with Bale!
Materials- 18ct, shell, diamonds
Condition: excellent, for her age! A superb all original example, the pin back is an American replacement, and there are some careful repairs, enjoy all of the photos for a full condition report.
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.