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Antique Victorian jewelry brooch with stone cameo angel and diamonds and pearls

Victorian Grand Period Jewelry is often dramatic and includes re-interpretations of many ancient patterns and styles. The use of cupids go back to the Greek who called them Erotes, winged gods of love. Their number was varied: Eros (Love) and Himeros (Desire), Pothos (Passion), the twins Eros and Anteros (love reciprocated) were often portrayed gracing the scales of love. Later the lyric poets multiplied them into a numberless host of winged putti. The Erotes were creatures of poetic invention with no distinct mythology of their own.

And what a nice true piece of antique jewelry this is. If only all antique jewelry could be of this quality! We see a skillful engraved angel (also called a cupid, cherub or putto) with wings playing a flute in a shell-like background. To recognize the quality of the engraver only take a look at the cute little feet of the angel (see the pictures for a close-up). The cameo is cut in hardstone, a technique even more difficult then the usual shell where cameo's are cut from.

The cameo is set in a wreath covered with diamonds and further embellished with 19 natural pearls. Pure eye-candy, a joy to look at, not to mention the pleasure owning and wearing it.

Antique jewelry object group: brooch

Condition: excellent condition
  -  (more info on our condition scale)

Country of origin: Although it does not carry any legible control marks we believe this to be of Belgian origin.

Style: Victorian - In 1837 Queen Victoria begins the longest reign in the history of Great Britain. For 64 years, from 1837 till 1901, she symbolizes the growth and triumph of the British Empire as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India. Proud, passionate about beautiful things, highly educated about all styles of time, she influences the lifestyles through her taste and immense love of jewelry.

Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia. The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era. (Last part freely rendered from: Wikipedia)
  -  See also: Victorian or more info on styles

Style specifics: The Grand Victorian Period - Experts divide the reign of Queen Victoria, also called The Victorian era (1837-1901) into three periods of about twenty years each; The Romantic Victorian Period (1837 - 1860), The Grand Victorian Period (1860 - 1880), and the Late or Aesthetic Victorian Period (1880 - 1901).

We consider this to be of the Grand Victorian Period.

This second Victorian period is famous for its ostentatious pieces set with pearls and diamonds (from South Africa). From ca. 1850 wealthy English had reported about jewelry from India and Japan, which heavily inspired the jewelers of this period. This period also corresponds with the death of Queen Victoria's husband King Albert making mourning jewelry (set with heavy dark stones) the type of jewelry specific for this period.

Period: ca. 1860
  -  (events and facts in 1860)

Source of inspiration: Love and romance

Theme: Cherub - A Cherub (or putto - pl. putti) is a figure of a human baby or toddler, almost always male, often naked and having wings, found especially in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. The figure derives from ancient art but was rediscovered in the early Quattrocento. Putti are distinct from cherubim, but some English-speakers confuse them with each other, except that in the plural, "the Cherubim" refers to the literal biblical angels, while "cherubs" is used more often to refer to the child-like representations (putti) or in figurative senses. Putti are allegorical, non-literal figures, and later in Christian art came to represent the omnipresence of God.

Material: 18k yellow gold and silver, see also: The silver on gold technique
  -  (more info on precious metals)

Technique: Cameo is a method of carving, or an item of jewellery or vessel made in this manner. It features a raised (positive) relief image. There are three main materials for Cameo carving; Shells or Agate (called a Hardstone cameo), and glass. Cameos can be produced by setting a carved relief, such as a portrait, onto a background of a contrasting colour. This is called an assembled cameo. Alternately, a cameo can be carved directly out of a material with integral layers or banding, such as (banded) agate or layered glass, where different layers have different colours. Sometimes dyes are used to enhance these colours. Cameos are often worn as jewellery. Stone cameos of great artistry were made in Greece dating back as far as the 6th century BC. They were very popular in Ancient Rome, and one of the most famous stone cameos from this period is the Gemma Claudia made for the Emperor Claudius. The technique has since enjoyed periodic revivals, notably in the early Renaissance, and again in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Diamonds: No less then 217 (!) rose cut diamonds . We do not have the weight of the diamonds which is normal in our trade when it comes to rose cuts.

Precious stones: One hardstone carnelian cameo and 19 natural pearls
  -  (more info on precious stones)

Birthstones: Diamond is the birthstone (or month stone) for April, pearl for June and cornelian for July.
  -  (more info on birthstones)

Hallmarks: No trace.
  -  (more info on hallmarks)

Dimensions: height 7.10 cm (2.80 inch)

Weight: 22.90 gram (14.72 dwt)

Reference Nº: 11122-0039

Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry

See also our:
victorian brooches, silver on gold brooches, all floral jewelry, jewelry with wreaths, jewelry with human motifs, jewelry with cupids, yellow gold jewelry, silver on gold jewelry, jewelry with rose cut diamonds, jewelry with diamond, jewelry with pearls, jewelry with cornelian, cameo jewelry, latest acquisitions,
antique jewelry, estate jewelry, vintage jewelry or modern jewelry

Jewelry with birthstones (or month stones) for:
January - February - March - April - May - June - July
August - September - October - November or December.

Additional information:
jewelry glossary - wall of fame - visit us in Antwerp - subscribe to our mailinglist.

What is antique jewelry? - What is estate jewelry? - What is vintage jewelry?

Antique Victorian jewelry brooch with stone cameo angel and diamonds and pearls
Click picture to enlarge
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