Rare Antique Victorian George Washington Shell Cameo in 9k Gold Frame

     The Victorians were, above all things, true romantics.  When Washington Irving's book 'Life of George Washington' came out in 1859, it painted such a romantic picture of Washington that the Victorians became enthralled, quick to point out that Washington's ancestry was heavy in English blood.

     This lovely cameo is done in carved shell and set into a (marked) 9 karat gold frame.  It features an older and stouter Washington in profile, it is not surprising that the artist would choose to depict him as the elder statesman.  It is a lovely carving, the cameo show no signs of stress.  The frame is lovely and simple.  I think that it may have been converted from a pendant to a brooch, the pin stem and fitting are clearly not original and have been either added or replaced sometime in the last 50 years or so.  The original carving and frame date to about 1870-1880.  It measures 2.25 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.  It really needs a cleaning, and I will gladly do it upon request.  In all my many years of shopping this is the only cameo brooch of George that I have come across, it is quite rare.

     Ah, those romantic Victorians, one can hardly blame them, in the words of Washington Irving:

 "In the course of a few days Washington prepared to depart for Annapolis, where Congress was assembling, with the intention of asking leave to resign his command. A barge was in waiting about noon on the 4th of December at Whitehall ferry, to convey him across the Hudson to Paulus Hook. The principal officers of the army assembled at Fraunces' tavern in the neighbourhood of the ferry, to take a final leave of him. On entering the room, and finding him-self surrounded by his old companions in arms, who had shared with him so many scenes of hardship, difficulty, and danger, his agitated feelings overcame his usual self-command. Filling a glass of wine, and turning upon them his benignant but saddened countenance, "With a heart full of love and gratitude," said he, "I now take leave of you, most devoutly wishing that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honourable."

 Having drunk this farewell benediction, he added with emotion, "I cannot come to each of you to take my leave, but I shall be obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand." General Knox, who was the nearest, was the first to advance. Washington, affected even to tears, grasped his hand and gave him a brother's embrace. In the same affectionate manner he took leave severally of the rest. Not a word was spoken. The deep feeling and manly tenderness of these veterans in the parting moment could not find utterance in words. Silent and solemn they followed their loved commander as he left the room, passed through a corps of light infantry, and proceeded on foot to Whitehall ferry. Having entered the barge, he turned to them, took off his hat, and waved a silent adieu. They replied in the same manner, and having watched the barge until the intervening point of the battery shut it from sight, returned still solemn and silent to the place where they had assembled."

     I offer layaway on most items purchased for full retail price. In general my layaway terms are 1/3 down and 1/3 in 30 days and the last 1/3 in 60 days.  I am flexible so if you are interested please ask me and we can work out a payment plan that suits you.  Items ship when payment is complete and items purchased or payments made on layaway are eligible for store credit only.

     I always want you to be happy with every aspect of your purchase from my shop.  If you are not completely satisfied for any reason simply let me know and we'll work together to get the item returned for a full refund.  I guarantee that my pictures and descriptions are as accurate as possible.  My goal is to exceed your best expectations!

SKU: BH0208012VO




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