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Georgian 'Psyche' Butterfly Shell Cameo Ring


Georgian 'Psyche' Butterfly Shell Cameo Ring



DATE: Georgian, c.1820 (ring shank circa 1900)

Cool antique cameo ring with Psyche, represented as a butterfly, as its subject. The shell has been expertly carved, utilising the two colours to create contrast between butterfly and background. It remains set in its original 15k gold Georgian mount, with engraved foliate detailing around the border, and a ring shank that appears to have been added around the turn of the 20th century. 

In ancient Greek mythology, Psyche was the mortal lover of Eros and the daughter of King Artistides and Queen Damaris. She was so beautiful that many in the kingdom abandoned the cult of Aphrodite to worship her instead. Aphrodite, who could bear no rivalry, hatched a plan to punish Psyche when she learned of this betrayal. She sent her son, Eros, to go out and find the ugliest pig he could, and take it to the kingdom of Artistides and Damaris. When he got there, he was to shoot Psyche with one of his arrows and makes sure the pig was the first thing she laid eyes upon. To cut a long story short, Eros bungled the job. After he'd sneaked into Psyche's room one night, he struggled to restrain the pig and scratched his own arm with his arrow. The commotion woke Psyche who lit a candle by her bed, and Eros instantly fell deeply in love with her... the rest, as they say, is history.


Shell cameo


Head: 1.6 x 1.4cm

Rise off finger: 5.6mm

Width of band: 1.7mm




Stamped 9ct inside the band. The head tests as 15k gold


Good, the band has been added later along with a curved frame so it conforms to the shape of the finger. The cameo and its mount were likely originally a brooch or pin