This cameo brooch is hand carved from carnelian shell. It is 4.5 cm tall, 3.5 cm wide. Carving cameos from sea shells is a tradition that began in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. More recently it was popularized by Queen Victoria and carvings mostly represent the profile of a beautiful woman. A little known fact is that these cameo brooches were not always worn by woman. Men in the 18th and 19th century often adorned themselves to establish status and prestige. Indeed, Napoleon wore a cameo to his own wedding! For more information about cameo brooches click here. We have other Victorian jewellery that might interest you such as this 18ct Gold Mourning Brooch Pendant with Seed Pearls.