Victorian shell cameo brooch, circa 1880

Victorian Shell Cameo Brooch

Victorian Shell Cameo Brooch circa 1880. A Victorian shell cameo brooch, circa 1880, the oval panel carved with the relief of Diana with bow in hand after releasing an arrow, above a hound leaping from a clouded ground, in a gold scrolled setting, 6.4cm long

Sold for £320 at Dreweatts Donnington Priory


In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was eventually equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy. Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria. Diana was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, along with Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.

Oak groves and deer were especially sacred to her. According to mythology (in common with the Greek religion and their deity Artemis), Diana was born with her twin brother, Apollo, on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. She made up a triad with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.