A lovely Victorian carved shell cameo circa 1870 depicting a semi-draped classical female dancing and playing the kithara. This instrument was played primarily by skilled musicians and differs from a simple lyre in having more strings and integral soundboards. The cameo is beautifully hand carved and full of life and movement. There is intricate detail in the dancer's swirling drapery and her tiny fingers plucking the strings. The subject is derived from an intaglio, signed Pichler (a family of famous gem-engravers active in the 18th to early 19th century), which I understand is based on an ancient painting discovered at the Roman baths of Constantine.
The Pichler intaglio appears in the Paoletti collection of gem impressions under the title'Citerista' ('kithara player'). The cameo is set as a pendant in 9 carat rose gold, stamped'9ct' on the back of the mount. Condition is very good for the age, with only short faint internal age lines seen almost entirely when held to light. The setting has slight signs of expected wear and the pendant bail has been added later. The oval gold mount measures approximately 40mm x 32mm.With the bail and suspension ring the overall height is about 54mm. A very pretty, unusual and extremely wearable antique cameo pendant. The item "ANTIQUE VICTORIAN CARVED SHELL CAMEO CLASSICAL DANCER MUSICIAN 9CT GOLD PENDANT" is in sale since Sunday, August 15, 2021. This item is in the category "Jewellery & Watches\Vintage & Antique Jewellery\Vintage Fine Jewellery\Victorian (1837-1901)". The seller is "duskybrocade" and is located in Gloucestershire. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom, Antigua and barbuda, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, United States, Bahrain, Canada, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, Hong Kong, Norway, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Barbados, Brunei darussalam, Cayman islands, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Grenada, French guiana, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Macao, Monaco, Maldives, Montserrat, Martinique, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Paraguay, Reunion, Turks and caicos islands, Aruba, Saudi arabia, South africa, United arab emirates, Chile, Bahamas, Colombia, Costa rica, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Uruguay, Viet nam.