Sep 30, 2010

Vintage Buzz: Portraits In Relief

These Vintage Bergere Enamel Cameo Woman Clip On Earrings from Vintage Goodness are a beautifully affordable way to adorn yourself in cameos.
Cameos are perhaps the most sought after pieces of jewelry in the vintage world. While fine cameos are certainly sought after, the depth of the collector's pocket determines what they can actually acquire -vs- what they can merely drool over. Fortunately, cameos come in a broad range of prices making it possible for all collectors to obtain some degree of satisfaction. 

ChrysalisEShop offers this traditional looking Large Vintage Cameo Pendant on Link style Chain.
 Many materials are used to make cameos: alabaster, shell, porcelain, metal, coral, lava, ivory and plastic to name a few. To the purist, a cameo is only a cameo if it is a carved relief image, but many collectors and creators of vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry enjoy portrait style pieces where an image is painted or transferred upon porcelain, glass or plastic. Intaglio is also a form of cameo, where the image is created in reverse, impressed into glass or lucite from the back, sometimes painted or glazed, and visible from the front. A cameo with an added setting of a precious or semi-precious stone is referred to as 'habille' and are especially sought after. 

From Callooh Callay, this antique White Coral Cameo Vintage Brooch is the classic cameo.
Cameos of beautiful women are most common, with angels, mythological characters and children also common. Whether placed into a simple setting of gold or an ornate setting encrusted with stones, a cameo speaks of class and refinement and were the favorite adornment of the Victorians. Wikipedia has a good article about cameos that's worth reading - check out the gorgeous Roman 27 B.C. eagle cameo! Search the Etsy Vintage Team for a variety of beautiful cameo jewelry.


Callooh Callay said...

Wonderful posting, Deb--I love cameos! Thanks for featuring mine!

nora - treasurehuntvintage said...

Great post! I used a vintage glass intaglio cameo in my latest transienttreasures necklace. So Pretty!