Home > Antique Cameos

Antique Cameos

Cameos are one of my favourite pieces of Jewellery, I had one given for my 21st birthday present and still wear it today. They are a fabulous item to collect as they depict history so well. Cameos have been around since the 4th Century BC and in most cases are a wearable artform. The most serious collectors seek early hard stone Cameos - the ones carved from Agate stones such as Sardonyx with white layers that can be left raised in the form of a head or pictoral scene. Cameos were carved in all sorts of materials from coral or jet to unusual mediums such as "lava" (which actually isn't lava at all) to precious gemstones like Emeralds and Opals.

Shell Cameos are the most prolific of all Cameos, with the majority being carved in Italy.  Shell was a much easier medium to carve than the hardstone and their popularity increased when the wealthy started to bring them home from their "Grand Tour" of Europe. Queen Victoria was a great fan of Cameo Jewellery as was Empress Josephine, Napoleon was a fanatical collector.

Cameos come in all forms of Jewellery, Brooches, Earrings, Bracelets and Necklaces.
Look out in the New Year for an indepth feature on Cameos on our Blog page.  

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