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. *
The beautiful cameo in this case is made from 10 karat yellow gold and a pale peachy-pink coral. With a detailed, high relief carving of a placidly smiling lady in exotic headdress, it is a must-have for cameo collectors! Beautifully executed flowers, diaphanous drapery, and a realistically sculpted face all attest to the talent and skill of the artisan who made the cameo. Set in an etched golden frame, it has the versatility of both a pin back and a bale to be worn as a brooch or pendant as you wish!
* Source: My Modern Met https://mymodernmet.com/history-of-cameo-jewelry
Dimensions: 34mm x 27mm
Weight: 6.4 grams
Materials: Gold, carved pink coral cameo
Metal: 10K yellow gold
Marks: 10K (on bale)
Condition: Excellent antique condition