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Timeless Myth in Victorian Gold: The Farnese Bull Brooch

Elegant Victorian Era Cameo Brooch: This vintage antique cameo brooch, set in 18K yellow gold, features a detailed portrayal of "The Farnese Bull," a monumental Roman sculpture. Crafted during the Romantic Victorian Period (circa 1850), it reflects the era's sentimental and symbolic style. The cameo technique, using contrasting materials to create a raised relief image, is expertly employed here. With its intricate design and historic significance, this brooch is a delightful piece of artistry and history.

Antique jewelry object group

very good condition
more info on our condition scale

Country of origin

Victorian - Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and Interior decoration. Victorian design is widely viewed as having indulged in a regrettable excess of ornament. The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era.
See also: Victorian
more info on styles

Style specifics
The Romantic Victorian Period - Experts divide the reign of Queen Victoria, also called The Victorian era (1837 - 1901) in to three periods of about twenty years each; The Romantic Victorian Period (1837 - 1860), The Grand Victorian Period (1860 - 1880), and the Late or Aesthetic Victorian Period (1880 - 1901).

We consider this to be of the Romantic Victorian Period. This period covers the coronation of Victoria as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and her marriage to King Albert and their love, their devotion to their marriage and to their country are the sources of inspiration for this period. The jewels of this period are made of intricate carvings, special techniques where the enamel is subtly worked. These techniques allowed to give the jewel a certain opulence with less precious metal needed. As precious metals were really rare at that time. Highly favored (semi-) precious stones in this period are amethyst, coral, garnets, seed pearls and turquoises. The connotation is obviously sentimental, symbolic and romantic with reminiscent Gothic and/or Renaissance patterns and an abundant use of motifs like anchors, birds, branches, crosses, hearts and snakes.

ca. 1850
Events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era.

Source of inspiration

The Farnese Bull, also known as Toro Farnese in Italian, is a monumental Roman reproduction of a Hellenistic masterpiece. This colossal marble sculptural group depicts the myth of Dirce, the first wife of King Lykos of Thebes. According to legend, Dirce was bound to a wild bull as punishment by Amphion and Zethus, the sons of Antiope, for her mistreatment of their mother.

Pliny the Elder attributes the creation of this sculpture to Rhodian artists Apollonius of Tralles and Tauriscus. It is believed to have been commissioned at the end of the 2nd century BCE and is carved from a single block of marble. This masterpiece is renowned for its intricate portrayal of a dramatic and enduring mythological moment.

18K yellow gold (touchstone tested)
more info on precious metals

Cameo is a method of carving, or an item of jewellery or vessel made in this manner. It features a raised (positive) relief image. There are three main materials for Cameo carving; Shells or Agate (called a Hardstone cameo), and glass. Cameos can be produced by setting a carved relief, such as a portrait, onto a background of a contrasting colour. This is called an assembled cameo. Alternately, a cameo can be carved directly out of a material with integral layers or banding, such as (banded) agate or layered glass, where different layers have different colours. Sometimes dyes are used to enhance these colours. Cameos are often worn as jewellery. Stone cameos of great artistry were made in Greece dating back as far as the 6th century BC. They were very popular in Ancient Rome, and one of the most famous stone cameos from this period is the Gemma Claudia made for the Emperor Claudius. The technique has since enjoyed periodic revivals, notably in the early Renaissance, and again in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Illegible remains.
more info on hallmarks

5,84 cm (2,30 inch) x 5,82 cm (2,29 inch)
see picture with a ruler in millimeters and inches

20,80 gram (13,37 dwt)

Adin Reference Nº

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Adin, fine antique jewellery

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Timeless Myth in Victorian Gold: The Farnese Bull Brooch
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