Collection Type

  • Jewelry






This carved hardstone cameo bracelet depicts a classically dressed female in profile with a garland of grape leaves in her hair. The cameo is set in a gold mount which features an applied floral wreath and twisted wire rope borders and four cast and chased ram heads. The bails connecting the cameo to the chain each feature applied lion heads and wire scrollwork and granulation. From the bails extend heavy chain links. The bracelet closes with an oval push button clasp with an applied cast grape and flower bunch.


Descriptive Terms

bracelets (jewelry)
gold (metal)
Classical Revival (European revival style)


These exquisite chalcedony cameos came from jeweler Diego D'Estrada's shop in Rome. Robert Means Mason and his wife, Sarah, purchased the set along with a set of vest buttons depicting the sights of ancient Rome, possibly on their journey to Europe in 1865. Sarah was an acute asthmatic and the pair often traveled abroad for her health. Unfortunately, Sarah died in the fall of 1865 in Dieppe, France.
"Cherished Possessions": This cameo set was a souvenir, purchased by Bostonian Sarah Mason during one of her trips with her husband to Rome. Italy was the center of cameo production, in part because many of the sculptors who flocked there supplemented their income carving them. With their images of classically draped women, cameos were increasingly popular in the wake of Napoleon's Italian campaign of 1796, which spurred renewed interest in classical imagery.


"DIEGO D' ESTRADA / Fabricant de Beaux Arts / Rome Rue Condotti 32 / 9149149" (Paper Label)

Additional Identification Number



Diego D'Estrada (Jeweler)

Location of Origin

Rome, Italy


2 1/8 x 3/4 (WxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Ellen F. Mason

Accession Number


Exhibition Notes

"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. "Cherished Possessions: A New England Legacy," Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, July 2003 to October 2005. "Jewelry at Historic New England," Online exhibit presented by Historic New England launched September 30, 2007 at

Reference Notes

Pictured in Carlisle, Nancy, "Cherished Possessions: A New England Legacy," (2003): 75. 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). For history of the Mason family see Winthrop, Robert C., Jr. "Memoir of Robert Means Mason," Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society. XVIII, 1881, 302-317.


Rome (Roma province, Latium, Italy)

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