A cameo is a layered medium in which a design is carved in relief. The lighter coloured layer is used for the figure. The reverse process, with an incised image, is called intaglio.
The Ancient Romans used intaglios as seals as well as for decoration.
During the Renaissance, cameo brooches and rings were worn by royalty and members of the clergy.
The excavation of Pompeii early in the 19th century reawakened interest in cameos. This was enhanced by Queen Victoria’s penchant for wearing cameos and giving them as gifts. The main centre for the production of cameos during the Victorian period was southern Italy.
Various kinds of shell became the preferred medium for making cameos, overtaking the earlier preference for hardstone and agate. The most common shell used was conch which is characterised by a light-coloured layer on a pink to deep orange background. Minutely detailed graceful ladies and biblical scenes were the most popular subjects.
The area around Naples has an abundance of coral which was also often used for making cameos by craftsmen in that area.
Around the middle of the 19th century, cameos made from the lava of Mt Vesuvius were popular souvenirs of the “Grand Tour”
Antique Cameos available now
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Vintage 9ct Gold Cameo Earrings Twist Up Back
on August 5, 2020 at 4:45 am
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Cameo Marcasite Silver Earrings Screw Stud - Vintage Antique
on August 5, 2020 at 2:48 am
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Cameo brooches antique/vintage
on August 4, 2020 at 12:09 pm
AU $68.88 (0 Bids)End Date: Tuesday Aug-11-2020 22:09:51 ESTBid now | Add to watch list
Vintage Cameo Brooch / Pendant in 800 Silver With Marcasites
on August 4, 2020 at 3:49 am
AU $20.00 (0 Bids)End Date: Tuesday Aug-11-2020 13:49:56 ESTBid now | Add to watch list
Vintage Cameo Screw On Earrings Set In Silver Filigree Surround
on August 4, 2020 at 1:18 am
AU $45.00 (0 Bids)End Date: Tuesday Aug-11-2020 11:18:40 ESTBid now | Add to watch list