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  • Rustic Cameo Pendant
  • Rustic Cameo Pendant
  • Rustic Cameo Pendant
  • Rustic Cameo Pendant
  • Rustic Cameo Pendant
  • Rustic Cameo Pendant
  • Rustic Cameo Pendant
Rustic Cameo Pendant
Rustic Cameo Pendant
Rustic Cameo Pendant
Rustic Cameo Pendant
Rustic Cameo Pendant
Rustic Cameo Pendant
Rustic Cameo Pendant

Rustic Cameo Pendant

$ 225

Chain:

    Description

    A cameo is a bas-relief carving (aka raised off the surface) and is the opposite of an intaglio (aka carved in recess into the surface). Cameos usually depict a scene or portrait. The earliest use of shell for cameo carving was during the Renaissance. Before then, cameos were carved from hardstone. In the mid-18th century, sailing expeditions revealed new shell varieties. Queen conch shells from the Bahamas and West Indies arrived in Europe and sparked a big increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells.

    After 1850 demand for cameos grew, as they became popular souvenirs of the Grand Tour. The Grand Tour was a customary European expedition undertaken by upper-class young men of sufficient means and rank when they came of age. The methods used for carving cameos varied by material. Hardstone cameos (ie lapis, onyx, agate, and jasper) were cut on a specialty lathe with steel drills and wheels. Carvings using this process took months to complete. Shell cameos could be carved by hand with an engraving tool, taking only days to complete. Shell cameos were less labor intensive therefore less expensive and became popular with tourists looking for just the right souvenir of their trip. Conch shells carve very well, but their color fades with age.

    Here we have a conch shell cameo in a rustic setting with pearl accents. The cameo is of a fashionable Victorian woman that has softly worn over time. It has a lovely light blush color and smooth soft finish. This charm was once a stick pin and has been converted into a pendant.

    ***********

    In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Ariel Gordon Jewelry, we’re so proud to introduce Heritage by Ariel Gordon, a collection of vintage and estate jewelry curated by Ariel to bring new life to these treasured pieces.

    “It felt inspiring and motivating to me to stop for a moment and reflect on all the different reasons that people have worn jewelry throughout the years - the heritage of the industry that I'm a part of.  I get a lot of satisfaction thinking about the sustainable life cycle of jewelry and that I'm bringing new life to old pieces. I design my own collection to live forever and be heirlooms so it's so exciting that I'm getting to honor these pieces in the same way.  It's a fantasy of mine that 100 years from now, someone will discover one of my pieces, and it would have the same special meaning to them—with the stories and memories it's collected over the years.”

    To curate this assortment, Ariel scoured trade shows, flea markets, private collections, and beyond to find authentic, one of a kind jewelry. Every piece in the collection was purchased by Gordon in person so she could fully vet the quality and authenticity. 

    About this item
    • Era: 1870-1889
    • Hallmark: not visible
    • Metal: 14k gold, not tested
    • Stones: conch shell, pearl
    • Measurements: 1" tall 
    • Condition: Fair (item shows heavy wear but is still structurally sound).

     

    Please note this charm is sold without a chain. If you'd like it on one of our chains, please select one in the drop down and we will assemble it for you. If you'd like to see full length shots of the various chain styles, head over here.

    If you'd like to layer it on your own necklace at home, that may or may not require a jeweler to solder it (it all depends on the size of the bail + the clasp on your personal chain). In an effort to streamline things and save everyone time and money on shipping, if you need it professionally assembled on your personal jewelry, we politely decline that service and recommend taking it to a local jeweler. We're happy to give our input on how they should assemble if needed.

    Notes About This Collection

    The entirety of the Heritage by Ariel Gordon Collection has been inspected by a 3rd generation, GIA-certified Estate Jewelry dealer so we feel confident about the pieces that we are passing on to you. Every piece here has survived generations and we are so excited that they are finding a new home with you. Please keep in mind that these heirlooms are sold as-is and will show wear consistent with their age. We believe that this wear isn't a defect, rather it's proof that the piece was worn with love in generations past. We will describe any notable wear or damage as accurately as possible and to the best of our ability. We are only selling pieces that we've determined are in wearable condition. That being said, please know that jewelry in general is fragile, especially antique jewelry and should be handled with extra care. We will assess all repair requests on Heritage pieces on a case by case basis. 

    We know that shopping online for estate pieces can be intimidating, which is why we will accept returns on our Heritage pieces (with limited terms).  Due to the one-of-a kind nature of these pieces, you can return it within 5 days of receipt of the item with a $25 restocking fee.

    If you're unsure about anything, please reach out to us via our concierge portal with any specific questions about this item. 

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