Jewelry of the Victorian age was awash with symbolism and many of the pieces carried either a symbolic or sentimental message. This pair of three-part earrings from circa 1870 portrays the goddess Flora in carefully carved shell cameos.
Cameos are images in relief, intaglios are those with motifs below the surface. Flora is the goddess of fertility, the season of spring and renewal and is usually depicted with flowers throughout her hair and dress.
In 10k, the earring top surmounts are half an orb of yellow gold. Beneath leaf shapes frame bottom and top of the cameo area.
Each shell cameo is set opposing one another, one facing left and one right. Typical for the Victorian period, these are hand carved and would rarely be the same image (both facing left or both facing right) that one finds in later 20th century examples. It allows these to be worn either with the womens’ images facing inward toward the face, or outward.
Each cameo is bezel set with a wire work twist at the base. A pointed dart dangle creates movement for the whole.