A carnelian cameo probably representing Maria Theresa.
German, second half of the 18th century.
The brooch measures 3.5 x 3cm, the cameo measures 2.6 x 2.1cm.
The cameo is a quiet tour de force of cameo carving, the ground is highly polished, whilst the relief is beautifully rendered with contrasting polished and mat elements. The reverse has a chamfered edge which was then finely faceted and softly sparkles giving a diamond like quality. The high carat gold brooch setting is most likely original to the jewel and is set with a border of natural half pearls.
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (c.1717-80)was ruler of the Habsburg dominions from 1740 until her death in 1780, and the only woman to hold the position suo jure. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma.
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