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Shell Cameo Brooch of Young Man

Cameo Brooch of Young Man

A Cameo Lefty!

This shell cameo depicts the left profile of a young man, set in an elaborate frame with ornate finials at three and nine o'clock positions. Most cameo portraits are right facing, however, once in awhile, you find a left facing portrait, possibly carved by a left handed artist.

Many shell cameos are carved from the multiple layers of the helmet shell; the alternating layers of brownish orange and white or brownish tan and cream allow the artist to add depth and dimension to the scene. A truly talented artist can achieve a wonderful three dimensional quality with varying layers, tones and colors.

When shopping for cameos, especially those carved from shell, look closely for crazing (hairline cracks) that are the result of dehydration and drying. Ideally you don't want any hairline cracks in your cameo, however, if you find a cameo that you just love and it does have some very minor hairline cracks, the price should reflect the crazed condition. Hairline cracks can not be repaired nor removed.

Cost:  Although this beautiful brooch has sold,  you will find many more fine brooches in the Antique Brooch Gallery.

Measurements:   This brooch is 1.75" in height and width.

3/4 view of shell cameo. This three-quarter view shows the detail of the frame as well as the height of the cameo profile. Better quality and more expensive cameos have a higher profile (juts out more) and great detail. When examining cameos (all types), look for the quality of the carving, the amount of detail, the depth or height of the profile, the condition (crazing) and the material used. Also, more elaborate frames add to the value.

Consumer Tip:  When examining a piece of jewelry, inspect it from as many directions as possible.   True quality should be apparent from every angle.

Here are a few more elegant jewels from the past ...

Edwardian guilloche enamel brooch. (J9413) Carter, Gough Art Deco Scottish terrier brooch (BR9629)

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