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Rectangular shell cameo brooch set in gold mount, depicts the Birth of Venus, plain gold mount, hinged pin and hook on reverse. Brown leather case with stamped foliate border on cover, cream satin lining, hook closure.
Classical Revival (European revival style)
Carved by cameo artist and sculptor Constantin Roësler Franz, this shell cameo brooch depicts Venus in her chariot. Pinning the goddess of beauty to one's collar would have sent a subtle message about the wearer's powers of attraction.
"CONSTANTIN / ROËSLER FRANZ / Atelier de Mosaïques Camées / Rue Condotti no 92.93 / à Rome / 4679840" (Paper Label)
Original To Rundlet-May House (Portsmouth, N.H.),
Title Orange stone fob Accession Number 1971.900
Title 4 - Set of charms Accession Number 1971.1368.1
Title Beaded choker Accession Number 1971.1369.1
Title Beaded choker Accession Number 1971.1369.2
Title Beaded choker Accession Number 1971.1369.3
Title Agate ring Accession Number 1971.2197
Title Gold ring Accession Number 1971.2198
Title Gold ring Accession Number 1971.2199
Title Gold hair ring Accession Number 1971.2200
Title Gold chain necklace Accession Number 1971.2201
Title Birth of Venus cameo Accession Number 1971.2202 ab
Title Cuff buttons Accession Number 1971.2203 ab
Constantin Roesler Franz (Artist)
Rome, Italy, Europe
1 5/8 x 2 5/16 x 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Ralph May
"Hidden Treasures from Elegant Eras," Historic Jewelry from the Collections of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities presented by Shreve, Crump & Low, September 15 - November 30, 1995. "Jewelry at Historic New England," Online exhibit presented by Historic New England launched September 30, 2007 at www.historicnewengland.org/jewelryhistory/.
For information on cameos see Bennett, David and Daniela Mascetti, "Understanding Jewellery," (1989); Bury, Shirley, "Jewellery, 1789-1910," v. 1 (1991): 215-232; Fales, Martha Gandy, "Jewelry in America, 1600-1900," (1995): 227-236; Miller, Anna M. "Cameos Old & New," 3rd Edition (2005).
Rome (Roma province, Latium, Italy)