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Antique Cameo with Oasis Scene

Antique shell cameo of oasis scene.

Oasis Cameo!

The best antique cameos tell a story!   They draw from mythology,  history and the famous people of an era for their subject matter.   Half the pleasure of a cameo is in deciphering its story.

This beautifully carved shell cameo features an oasis with palm trees,  a maiden and an Arab trader.   The scene is richly detailed and offers many clues.   But, we have not been able to interpret the story behind the scene.  Any thoughts?  Let us know what you think.

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

Measurements:   This beautiful cameo measures 2" by 2.5".   The bezel and pin stem are crafted in base metal.

The beauty of this cameo is in the rich details of the carving.   Note the wind-blown,  swaying fronds of the palm tree and the rich,  life-like folds of the maiden's dress and the trader's garment.   A beautiful cameo is truly a fine sculpture in miniature.

Antique shell cameo of oasis scene.

Because of the style,  subject and quality of this cameo,  we date it to the late 1800s (1880 to 1900).

Our cameo shows its age with slight crazing along the upper left edge.  The crazing can only be seen when the cameo is held up to a strong light.   This minor crazing does not detract from the cameo's durability or beauty.

Consumer Tip:  When you examine an antique cameo you should always inspect it for crazing.   This is best done by holding the cameo up to a strong light.   Extensive crazing can weaken a cameo and detract from its beauty

Now for the story behind the cameo....

A knowledgeable cameo connoisseur from the pleasant sounding town of Flowering Branch, Georgia cleared up the mystery for us.   The cameo is a realistic representation of the story Rebecca at the Well.   We often see simply carved cameos depicting a woman standing next to a cottage and a well.  But,  the cameo featured here is a wonderful and realistic depiction of this Biblical story.

In the story,  a servant of Isaac attempts to win the favor of Rebecca by presenting her with a large earring and two bracelets.  The scene in the cameo represents their first meeting.

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

Hans Brassler amethyst and roses brooch. (J9256) Victorian amethyst brooch. (J9540)

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Arthur Anderson
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