The Grand Tour was an essential undertaking for any English man of means beginning in the 1700's, but it wasn't until the early 1800's with the invention of steam-powered transportation that it became a pursuit open to anyone, including women. The tour typically began in Dover, England and though there was no specified order of countries to visit, most travelers went to France, Germany and Switzerland before the culmination of the trip in Italy. Throughout the tour one was supposed to acquire knowledge of language, politics, sport and art and become a generally more well-rounded aristocrat.
During the same period the cameo (made from a variety of materials including shell, coral, onyx and lava) was experiencing great popularity and many of the most expert makers came from Italy. Lava from Mt. Vesuvius provided Italian cameo carvers a plentiful medium to create these miniature reliefs - this particular bracelet is a souvenir of somebody's Grand Tour. Fitted in gold with, the bracelet features the busts of famous men, we *think* two of them are Leonardo Da Vinci and Donatello.
9k gold (marked), multi-colored lava
7 1/2" length, 13/16" width
1837 — 1901
please note:Terms of Sale
Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.
Coral jewelry has been worn as an amulet of protection against ailments and danger since ancient Rome.