Antique Shell Cameo - Help with dating?

by Threse McCarten
(Minneapolis, MN)


I have a lovely shell cameo that I inherited from my grandmother. I believe it may have been handed down to her by her mother, or perhaps even her grandmother.

It's in very good condition, I do not see any chips or cracks and it was clearly hand carved. The woman has flowers in her hair and is wearing a pearl necklace and large hoop or teardrop shaped earrings. The original setting has twisted gold edging and a pendant bail. There is a clear inscription on the inside of the gold setting that looks like the roman numeral "VIII".

The entire original pendant was apparently reset (probably by my grandmother) into a sterling silver and marcasite setting with a pin back. I would date the 2nd setting to the 1920s, when my grandmother was in her 20s. The silver frame is marked "925".

Can you give me any idea of the age or value?

Thank you so much for your time!

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