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1940's Gold Overlay Shell Cameo Pin


This hand crafted shell cameo is perfect for that history loving buff you know.  Natural shell cameo of a lovely lady with flowers in her hair is held in place by six (6) vermeil prongs.  The top two are not touching the cameo edge (please view photos).  The cameo is secure with NO wiggling and in excellent condition with NO cracks, chips or breaks to shell, with the entire portrait visible.  The silver with gold overlay has an intricate woven heart design.  There is one area that has been welded, I am presuming due to a break in the metal, and another area that has some tarnish from the silver (please view photos.)  The back closure and pin are in perfect working order.  There is a signature to the back of the cameo, either the artist name or the name of the cameo's owner or model.  A beautiful pin that can be worn on a sweater, jacket, hat, bag or as scarf closure.  The perfect birthday, graduation or thank you gift.


* Silver with Yellow Gold overlay (tested)
* Natural Shell Cameo
* Hand Etched
* Signature to the Back
* Measures 1 3/4" inches x 1 3/8" inches
* 8.47 grams
* c. 1940's


The use of shells dates back, according to the most recent studies, to the discovery of America. This material, until then unknown to Europeans, was imported from the New World, and often used as ballast for the ships that transported it.  In the past, as there used to be no photos, the cameos became portraits. The noble families used to get artists to portray their daughters onto cameos to show them in the various courts, to find a husband and possibly a good catch.


The most popular cameos today are carved in sea shells, a tradition that began in the fifteenth or sixteenth century and was popularized by Queen Victoria of England. Since that time, cameos have predominately showcased women’s profiles, and been worn by women who enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of hand-carved cameos.  Yet cameos have not always been decorative jewelry for women. In fact, at different points in history they have been worn as frequently by men. While the birthplace of the cameo was nearly 300 years before the birth of Christ in Alexandria, Egypt, cameos owe their origins to ancient carving traditions. As far back as 15,000 BC, petroglyphs — figures carved into rock — were used to record significant events and communicate information. In ancient times people used cameos to depict an ethic or moral, or to make a statement about their faith or loyalties.

1940's Gold Overlay Shell Cameo Pin

SKU: NA-151
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