Victorian Cameo 18kt Yellow Gold “Aurora with Apollo” Converter Brooch (Vintage)
Throughout time, generations have used the material arts to influence design. Jewelry design was no different. Oftentimes artisans would look to prominent works of art (paintings, statues and architecture) as inspiration for their pieces. So too came to be our Victorian Cameo depicting Aurora and Apollo in Guido Reni’s famous chariot scene fresco “L’Aurora” painted in 1641 in the garden house adjacent to the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi in Rome. (see a photo of the fresco, believed by many to be his masterpiece, below).
What We Love About It:
The piece oozes with history. While not created in the same era as the fresco, it was not unusual, just as it goes today, for Victorian jewelry artists to look back in time for inspiration. And we can see why the carver of this cameo was smitten. What’s not to love?
The brooch/pendant was carved from helmet shell and set into an 18kt yellow gold bezel backed with a pin stem and a collapsible hidden bail. The carving is incredibly detailed and very true to the fresco; an example of exceptional work. To the verso there is a handwritten numerical inscription, the origin of which we’re unclear. There is also a hallmark at the bottom designating the karat weight of the gold and another that’s likely the stamp of the manufacturer. The piece measures 39mm x 30mm and weighs in at 4.80dwt.
It’s been said that art imitates life. But sometimes art imitates art.