Monday, May 7, 2012

Making a Cameo Appearance...Antique and Vintage Cameos

Vintage 1940s Coro Cameo Locket Holds 4 Photos
I love cameos! Cameo jewelry has been made and worn since ancient times. You can find cameos in just about every color and style that you can think of. Cameos are produced using many different materials. Some are hand carved out of shell, lava, or stones such as agates. They can come in the form of molded glass or wood. In the mid 19th century we began to see cameos made from early forms of plastic such as vulcanite and gutta percha. These early forms of plastics paved the way for easier mass production, even if on a smaller scale. A few years later, celluloid and bakelite became very popular materials for producing cameos. Today there are untold amounts of resins, plastics and other materials used in making cameo jewelry.

Vintage 1930s Hand Carved Shell Cameo Pendant
When you think of cameos, most often the hand carved shell cameo comes to mind. Most hand carved cameos, whether they be shell or stone, generally come from Italy where the tradition of carving cameos has been passed down for centuries. You will find cameos from this region, true masterpieces, still being produced today.

Antique Victorian Hand Carved Hardstone Cameo Necklace C1870s
This is an example of a Victorian hand carved agate or hardstone cameo. The black agate would be carved in such a way that it would expose the white layer of agate beneath to form the cameo. This cameo is set in a beautiful gold filled setting that makes it as wearable today as it was 140 years ago.

Vintage 1920s Celluloid Habille Cameo
Here we have a 1920s Art Deco celluloid Habille cameo. Habille cameo is French, meaning "dressed cameo"...dressed in this case being the added rhinestone earring and necklace. In some cases it is difficult to date a cameo. The setting and materials used will help in dating a piece.The style or face of the actual cameo, will offer up some clues to it's age as they sometimes depict popular fashions of the times in which they were created...hairstyles, etc.

1860s Antique Victorian Early Plastic Cameo
This cameo is unusual, in the fact that it was made to look like lava, but is actually an early form of plastic. I am honestly stumped as to what type of material it is. I have never run across this before, but I am sure that someone out there has. Just a beautiful antique piece and a lovely classic  cameo pin.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing these cameos. These are just a few that I have listed in my shop, Wicked Darling. Come by and take a peek!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

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