The Vendor of Pumpkins
  • Material: Sardonyx Shell, 18k gold tested
  • Size: 2 3/8" by 2" only cameo is 2" by 1 5/8"
  • Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy, frame could be English.
  • Conditions: A couple of internal lines, not stress ones, not visible from the front, only visible when cameo is backlit. on the back there are four tiniest plaques soldered on the back of the frame to keep the cameo safer in it. Those soldering caused lighter colors in those four points but only one is barely and only a little visible from the front, the other ones are covered by the carving.
This cameo is a real museum quality one, a subject never seen before, it depicts a vendor of pumpkins.The scene is surely from a painting, I think from a Dutch one. The dresses and the caps of the women are typical of Flemish people in the 600's. I have not yet discovered the painting which it is from. The scene takes place at the border of a wood where the vendor girl has placed her stall to sell her merchandise. The cameo is rich of stunning details which are not well shown in the pictures. The tree foliage is so deep carved that jump out from the background and gives the real impression of a true tree, the curtain hanged to it appears just real and rich of folds. The pumpkins and the vegetables are more than superbly carved like the basket under the tree. The dresses worn by the two women are simply amazing, the vendor has a big bow behind hers and a sort of shawl on her shoulders, the same has the other lady. The faces of all subjects, even if in the pictures are not well shown, are superbly carved and even the smallest detail can be seen. Even the small hands of the figures are carved so well, everything in this cameo is poetry, a rural scene magnificently carved and a subject which is very hard to carve on a so small piece of shell having so many details to made. With no doubt this is the work of master carver because only one with a great skill could carve such a beauty. The frame is another artwork, massive gold with a twisted and engraved border. A piece to not to be missed.