Maker:  unknown, Naples, Italy

Date: ca. 1866

Material:  white seashells, cotton, glass beads 


Provenance:  Adelicia to her daughter Pauline Acklen Lockett to her niece Pauline Acklen Landis to her daughter Pauline Landis Grizzard to her daughter Linda Grizzard Tiffany by gift to Belmont Mansion Association.


1999.09.02 a-c by gift from Linda Grizzard Tiffany

The demi-parure consists of a necklace containing 197 approximately 5-7 millimeters Venetian small white shells that are woven together, separated by 2 millimeter glass beads in a net like design. The necklace closes with a brass box clasp. The 7.5 inch bracelet contains 48 approximately 7 millimeter Venetian small white shells woven in 3 rows of 3 separated by 2 millimeter glass beads. This bracelet closes with a brass box clasp, is 25 millimeters wide.  The 55 millimeter long dangle earring consists of 14 approximately 7 millimeter Venetian small white shells woven together in a cluster pattern separated by 2 millimeter glass beads. This earring hangs from a 14 karat yellow gold kidney wire that is not original to the piece.


The Venetian-made shell demi-parure was purchased by Adelicia in Naples, Italy, when she went on her Grand Tour of Europe in 1866.  Although this costume jewelry set would not have held much monetary value, it would have evoked the allure of a far-off place.  To people in the land-locked Upper South, these delicate seashells would have boasted of travel to exotic, foreign beaches.  The ability to travel, even within the United States, was uncommon in 1866.  Adelicia’s trip to Europe was extravagant, making the presence and meaning of this souvenir significant.    


The set came with Pauline Acklen Lockett’s calling card.  A handwritten note by Pauline Lockett on the card reads:  “With love from Aunte/ your grandmother’s jewelry from Naples, Italy.”


The address on the calling card is 1776 Massachusetts Avenue. 



Sherry Male

Grace M. Allen


Elopement Packages at Belmont Mansion

Intimate and elegant wedding ceremonies are popular at Belmont Mansion! 


Visit to review options to Elope in Nashville at Belmont Mansion. 

Affordable Nashville Elopements start here!


Belmont Blvd & Acklen Avenue 

Nashville, TN 37212


1900 Belmont Blvd

Nashville, TN 37212


  • Facebook Clean
  • Twitter Clean
  • Instagram Clean
  • White Pinterest Icon

The architecture of Belmont Mansion makes it one of the most significant homes of 19th century Tennessee.

Sold by the Acklen family in 1887, the house went to a developer who began one of Nashville’s early suburbs.

It was then purchased by two women who in 1890 started a college which evolved into Belmont University. Today the Belmont Mansion Association, which was formed in 1972, owns the collection, runs the museum, and shares this unique story of 19th century Nashville with visitors from far and near.

Photos by Ed Houk

Shell Demi-Parure