A cameo is a form of glyptography, or bas-relief carving, most often cut into glass, hard-stones, and shells. Artworks were crafted to create two layers on one piece of material, the top of which protruded from its background, creating a multi-dimensional artwork. These detailed reliefs were often used to adorn pieces of jewelry, including brooches, necklaces, bracelets and rings. The earliest cameos took inspiration from prehistoric petroglyphs, which documented important religious and symbolic iconography onto rock faces.
Despite its popularity in previous periods, the most well-known era for cameo collection was the 19th century, inspired by royal cameo collectors Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte. Shelled cameos, which depicted these natural and humanistic scenes onto deep-sea shells, became quite popular under Queen Victoria’s reign. Similarly, Napoleon himself founded a Parisian apprentice school to foster the talents of young cameo carvers. *
This gorgeous pendant is carved from a pale pink shell, giving the cameo a delicate, diaphanous look. The lovely lady depicted has a serene expression, and is dressed in a tiara and a toga, with a flower carved above her at the point of the drop. We have named her "Chloris," a nymph in the Elysian Fields where the Greek heroes were sent after death. The gold setting and half-ring of seed pearls accentuates the delicate look of the cameo.
* Source: My Modern Met https://mymodernmet.com/history-of-cameo-jewelry/
Dimensions: 3.5cm x 1.5cm
Weight: 2.5 grams
Materials: Gold, carved shell cameo, 7 seed pearls
Metal: 10K yellow gold
Marks: CAMEO CO
Condition: Very good