Hand Carved Cameo Brooch - Mars

SKU: 61615C
  • Set in oxidized sterling silver, this stunning cameo brooch is hand carved in Italy from a single shell.

    - Materials: Hand carved conch shell and sterling silver
    - Dimensions: 1 1/4 inches x 1 1/2 inches
    - May be worn with a chain as a necklace
    - Comes with Certificate of Guarantee
    - Item #: 61615C

    Master carver Gennaro Borriello is one of the leading cameo producers in Torre del Greco. He utilizes several carvers of different skill levels who carve cameos to his specifications, after which he approves the cameo and, if necessary, applies finishing touches. Each hand-carved cameo crafted in Mr. Borriello’s workshop boast his signature on the back as a guarantee of authenticity. Gennaro Borriello is responsible for selecting the subject of each cameo produced by his artists. This cameo features the Roman god Mars, known in Greek mythology as Ares, god of war. Mars was second in importance only to Jupiter (Zeus, in Greek mythology), and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father of the Roman people.

    Although the tradition of carving positive reliefs, or cameos, from gems, stone, and glass can be traced back to the third century BC, today the most popular cameos are carved in sea shells, a practice that began between the 15th and 18th centuries. The village of Torre del Greco on the Bay of Naples in Italy is the most famous location for cameo design and carving. The town has been an international leader in shell cameo production since the eighteenth century, when engravers first set up workshops to use the coral brought back by local fishermen.