This beautiful object was created in Italy in the 19th Century, when the fashion for seashell cameo carvings was at its peak. At this time, shells—particularly large sea snail shells, such as helmet and conch—were finely carved with low-relief designs, especially mythological scenes and female portraits. They were, and continue to be, highly collectable items.
The helmet shell is carved on its outer surface with a depiction of a seated fisherman, with his right hand raised and clasping a wine bottle. A jug is placed on a table in front of him, and nets and traps lie at his feet. This low-relief image is contained within a carved medallion.