Georgian Agate Cameo Brooch with Rubies and Seed Pearls


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A magnificent Georgian museum quality Agate cameo of a Bacchante signed Morelli for the workshop of Nicola Morelli (1771 – 1838). Morelli is well known for producing cameos commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte and the Bonaparte family. Similar cameos by Morelli may be seen in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the British Museum in London. The agate cameo is encased in a 18K gold bezel encrusted with 8 rubies and seed peals. The cameo is exquisitely carved in relief depicting the classic profile of a lovely Roman woman wearing a fruiting vine wreath and ribbon in her wavy hair. The back has a hidden bottom bail that was used to hang small embellishments like ribbon or chain. The bezel is surrounded by an intricately chased border that enhances the delicate look of this brooch.

13.5 dwt 22 grams

Additional information

Dimensions L 0.5 x W 1.5 x H 1.75 in
Style / Period


Year / Century


Place of Origin



Banded Agate / Rubies / Pearls / 18K Gold


The 'C" clasp pin closure is in good working order. The bezel and frame are made from 18K gold, but the actual pin is not. The pin sticks out on the right edge to accommodate the thick fabrics of the gown used during the period. It includes a hidden bottom bail used to hang small embellishments like a ribbon or chain. There is slight patina on the gold due to the antiqueness that highlights the chased frame trim of the mount delightfully. The gold rim holding the agate has some dents from the hammering and irregularities of being hand made.

The agate is in one piece, but cut in two layers. Being hand carved makes this cameo unique and one of a kind. The stone has microscopic hairlines fractures due to their age or often by origin. It also has very tiny chips. These stress lines and tiny chips are acceptable for antique gemstone cameos.

It is not missing any rubies or seed pearls. The rubies have some inclusions and irregular rose cuts. The wheels used to cut gemstones in the Georgian era were slower than modern day equipment, so cutting was not as precise. The seed pearls have a superb luster although the iridescence varies. We will be happy to provide more closeup images upon request.

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