- Material: Hard Stone, gold, enamel, seed pearls, turquoises, garnets.
- Size: 3 2/8" including bale by almost 2 1/8" only cameo is 1 1/2" by 1 2/8", length of the necklace 17".
- Date and Origin: 1871 Germany. Signed by the artist Otto R. and marked on the back "Victoria 1871" and on the frame "21 Maerz 1871" which means March 21, 1871.
- Conditions: Excellent, a couple of slightest stone lines, one of it runs from left to right, it DOES NOT GO through the stone, please see pictures and you will see that the stone surface on both sides is not affected, lines are not visible by naked eye when looking at the cameo from the front or from the back, visible when cameo is backlit.
This is a highest Museum Quality cameo depicting a rarest subject, Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, Empress of Germany and Queen of prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III. The pictures speak by themselves about the beauty of this cameo even if seen in person it is even more breathtaking. The carving is three-dimensional and makes this cameo unique. Her face is so pretty and has lot of glamour. Her nose is perfect, her face beautiful. Her eye has even the pupil carved. Her hair is tied and she wears a crown. Each detail in this cameo is superbly carved, like her dress finely embroidered and her necklace details which can be seen. This cameo is a piece of history. The date, '21 Maerz 1871', engraved to the reverse of the frame was the date of the marriage of Princess Louise (1848 - 1939), Queen Victoria's sixth child, to John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne and heir to the Duke of Argyll (1845 - 1914). Princess Victoria, did not attend her sister's wedding, possibly as a result of the political situation in Europe, culminating, in early 1871, with the creation of a unified German Empire with Frederick, Victoria's husband and Victoria as Crown Prince and Princess. Probably the cameo was a gift to Princess Louise for her marriage from her sister The hardstone cameo is after a metal medallion of Princess Victoria (Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia) by Susan D. Durant (1827-1873), circa 1864-1866, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. (see pictures) Susan Durant was introduced to the Royal Family by the sculptor Baron Henri de Triqueti. This resulted in several commissions from Queen Victoria including high-relief marble medallions of the Queen, Prince Albert and their children. Durant also acted at times as Princess Louise's sculpture tutor.
This cameo was carved by Otto Rudolph (B. ~1837 D. ~1913) who was an engraver of cameos and heraldic seals, considered to be the premier engraver in Berlin. Like many German engravers, he initially worked in Paris. But, due to anti-German sentiment as a result of the Franco-Prussian war, Otto fled to Berlin with his family in 1870, founding a reputed engraving, lithograph, and embossing company, Antoine Guerlin, in 1871, located at Unter den Linden 40.
At an unknown date, Otto became the engraver and medallist to the Imperial Court of German Emperor Wilhelm I in Berlin, producing several known royally commissioned portrait medals. He also appears to have also been a professor of engraving, with pupils including Max Haseroth, as well as the first chairman of the German engraving association. His son Georg, born in 1869, is also known for producing a variety of heraldic seals for royals and aristocrats on commission.
This cameo is very large and impressive and mounts a magnificent gold frame set with a row of seed pearls and blue enamel detailing with saltire motifs, a border of bead decoration and rope-work lunettes interrupted by square collets set alternately with turquoise and garnets, cameo is suspended from a double fancy-link necklace. This is another gorgeous and rarest piece, for any collector.
A bit of History:
Victoria, Princess Royal (Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise; 21 November 1840 – 5 August 1901) was German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III. After her husband's death, she became widely known as Empress Frederick (German: Kaiserin Friedrich
). She was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert. She was created Princess Royal of the United Kingdom in 1841. She was the mother of Wilhelm II, German Emperor.
In 1851, Victoria met her future husband, Prince Frederick William of Prussia (18 October 1831 – 15 June 1888), when he and his parents were invited to London by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to attend the opening of the Great Exhibition. At the time, Frederick, the son of Prince William of Prussia and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, was second in line to the Prussian throne (after his father). The couple became engaged in 1855 while Frederick was on a visit to Balmoral; Victoria was just fourteen, while her future husband was a young man of twenty-four.
The Prussian Court and Buckingham Palace publicly announced the engagement on 19 May 1857. Seventeen-year-old Victoria married Frederick, at Queen Victoria's insistence, at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, on 25 January 1858. The marriage was both a love match and a dynastic alliance. The Queen and Prince Albert hoped that Victoria's marriage to the future king of Prussia would cement close ties between London and Berlin, and possibly lead to the emergence of a unified and liberal Germany. At the time of their wedding, Londoners chanted "God save the Prince and Bride! God keep their lands allied!"
In January 1861, on the death of his childless uncle King Frederick William IV of Prussia and the accession of his father as King William I, Prince Frederick became Crown Prince of Prussia, Victoria therefore became Crown Princess. The new Crown Prince and Crown Princess, however, were politically isolated; their liberal and Anglophile views clashing with the authoritarian rule of the Prussian minister-president, Otto von Bismarck. Despite their efforts to educate their son, Wilhelm, in British attitudes of democracy, he favoured his German tutors in aspiring to autocratic rule and thus became alienated from his parents, suspecting them of putting Britain's interests first. The couple had the use of the Crown Prince's Palace located in the heart of Berlin.
During the three Wars of German Unification – the 1864 Prussian-Danish War, the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, and the 1870–71 Franco-Prussian War – Victoria and Frederick strongly identified with the cause of Prussia and the North German Confederation. Their sympathies created a rift among Queen Victoria's extended family, since Victoria's younger brother, the Prince of Wales, was married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the elder daughter of Christian IX of Denmark, who was also reigning duke of the disputed territories of Schleswig and Holstein. At Versailles on 18 January 1871, the victorious princes of the North German Confederation proclaimed a German Empire with King William I of Prussia as the hereditary German Emperor with the style Imperial and Royal Majesty
; Frederick and Victoria became German Crown Prince and German Crown Princess with the style Imperial and Royal Highness.
On the death of his father on 9 March 1888, the Crown Prince ascended the throne as the Emperor Frederick III (and as King Frederick III of Prussia) and Victoria adopted the title and style of Her Imperial and Royal Majesty
The German Empress, Queen of Prussia. Frederick, however, was terminally ill with throat cancer and died after reigning 99 days. From then on she was known simply as Her Imperial Majesty
The Empress Frederick. She was often known as Die Engländerin
(the Englishwoman) due to her origins in the United Kingdom, even though her ancestry was almost entirely German. Indeed, she continued to speak English in her German household. Like her mother, she dressed in mourning clothing for the rest of her life.
The widowed Victoria lived in retirement at Castle Friedrichshof, a castle she had built in memory of her late husband in the hills near Kronberg not far from Frankfurt am Main. Politically, she remained a liberal in contrast with her son Emperor Wilhelm II. Their relationship had earlier been difficult but improved once she was no longer in the limelight. In Berlin, Victoria established schools for the higher education of girls and for nurses' training. As a talented and gifted artist in her own right, she was a patron of the arts and learning, becoming one of the organizers of the 1872 Industrial Art Exhibition.
Throughout her married life and widowhood, Victoria kept in close touch with other members of the British Royal Family, particularly her younger brother, the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.
She maintained a regular correspondence with her mother. According to the Royal Encyclopaedia
, some 3,777 letters from Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter have been catalogued, as well as more than 4,000 from daughter to mother. Many of her letters detailed her concern over Germany's future under her son. She was concerned that the letters should not fall into the hands of her son Wilhelm II and that he should not know what had happened to them. At her request the letters were brought back to England in a cloak-and-dagger operation by Frederick Ponsonby, her godson, the private secretary of Edward VII, who was making his (Edward's) final visit to his terminally ill sister in Kronberg for a week up to 1 March 1901. These letters were later edited by Ponsonby and put into context by his background commentary to form the book that was published in 1928.
Victoria was diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer in 1899 during a visit to her mother at Balmoral. By the autumn of 1900, the cancer spread to her spine and after much suffering, she died at Castle Friedrichshof on 5 August 1901, less than seven months after the death of her mother, Queen Victoria. She was buried in the royal mausoleum of the Friedenskirche at Potsdam on 13 August 1901. Her tomb has a recumbent marble effigy of herself on top. Next to her lies her beloved husband. Two of her eight children, Sigismund (died age 2) and Waldemar (died age 11), are buried in the same mausoleum.