THIS IS ME AND MY WONDERFUL HIMALYAN CAT


 

 





 This is a help page for you to learn more about cameos

I try to keep up with fakes,etc. to let you know what to look for.

Also I hope this helps you with care and cleaning of cameos.

 

GREAT NEW LITTLE TIP.ALWAYS GET ENOUGH MATERIAL ON THE PIN TO HOLD IT CLOSED.A TIP.PUT A SMALL PIECEOF SPONGE OR FOAM BEHIND YOUR CLOTHES AND PIN THE PIN THRU THE MATERIAL AND THE SPONGE.THE TENSION IS GREAT AND EASY ON YOUR CLOTHES.

GREAT TIP-JUST IN. I HATE IT WHEN SOMEONE SENDS ME AN ITEM WRAPPED IN BUBBLE WRAP AND SCOTCH TAPE.THE TAPE CAUSES SO MUCH PRESSURE AND YOU HAVE TO USE SISSORS TO CUT IT OFF.I GOT A ITEM LAST WEEK AND THEY USED BUBBLE WRAP AND BLUE PAPER PAINTING TAPE.IT RIPPED RIGHT OFF SO EASY. ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ARTHRITIS.

tCameo Tutorial

 ARCHIVES

THIS IS A PICTURE OF A MASTER CARVER AT WORK.CLICK FOR PICTURE

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NEW FAKE ALERT:I HAVE RECENTLY COME ACROSS WHAT LOOKS LIKE IVORY BUT HAS SYMETRICAL LINES UP AND DOWN,I BELIEVE THIS IS DONE BY SOME KIND OF MACHINE AND IS VEGTABLE IVORY NOT REAL IVORY,.MAY NOT EVEN BE VEGTABLE IVORY MAY BE SOME OTHER MAN MADE ITEM.FAKE ALERT==IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THERE ARE LAVA CAMEOS BEING MADE NOW THAT LOOK JUST LIKE THE OLD ONES.THEY ARE REPROS.SOME BEING MADE IN ENGLAND. BE CAREFUL IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR OLD LAVA PIECES.I RECENTLY PURCHASED WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LAVA CAMEO.IT WAS TO HEAVY,TO SHINY AND WHEN LOOKED AT IT UNDER A LOUPE THERE WERE TINY BEADS WHERE THE POURED LIQUID HAD HARDENED OUTSIDE OF MOLD.THERE WERE NO CARVE MARKS AND THE SETTING LOOKED VERY OLD -EVEN HAD SOLDER IN DIFFERENT PLACES.PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR THESE.THEY ARE VERY HIGH RELIEF.3 WKS AFTER I SENT THIS BACK THE IDENTICAL CAMEO IN A DIFFERENT FRAME CAME UP ON EBAY FROM ANOTHER STATE.2 DIFFERENT FRAMES,2 DIFFERENT STATES BUT THE SAME HIGH RELIEF LAVA HEAD.A LADY FEEDING A BIRD GRAPES.PLEASE NOTE SOME OF THEM DO NOT HAVE THE BEADS.

THERE IS ANOTHER CAMEO BEING MADE IN ENGLAND.VERY HIGH RELIEF WOMEN WITH GRAPES IN HER HAIR-IT COMES IN PINK,WHITE,BLACK AND AMBER.IT IS USUALLY SET IN SILVER LOOKING MATERIAL.THIS IS VERY LARGE AND HIGH RELIEF.LOOKS VERY GOOD.THEY HIT THE MARKET AROUND 5 YRS AGO.THEY SELL IN ENGLAND FOR AROUND 50.00.I HAVE SEEN MANY OF THESE ON THE INTERNET.

THERE HAVE ALSO BEEN ALOT OF CAMEOS SOLD LATELY AS IVORY THAT ARE OLD CELLULOID.SOME OF THESE A NEEDLE WILL NOT GO THRU.THEY ARE HIGH RELIEF.SOME SAY DEPOSE ON THE PINS.MOST OF THEM WERE DONE FROM 1910-1930.

NEWEST FAKE ALERT: I HAVE SEEN NUMEROUS CAMEOS SOLD ON THE INTERNET AS SHELL THAT ARE PLASTIC AND NEW. .IN PARTICULAR THERE IS A CHERUB CLIMBING A LADDER IN A VINEYARD.THE CAMEO EVEN GOES UP AND DOWN LIKE THE REAL ONES. THIS IS MASS PRODUCED AND MOLDED.THE NEWEST ONE IS A MADOONA WITH HAND PRAYING FULL FACED.THIS IS RESIN-A NEEDLE WILL NOT GO THRU IT ALSO.

Sometime when a shell grows it stretches leaving natural lines in the shell.These are not from age,drying out or cracks.They are the natural growth of the shell.So brand new cameos can have these lines especially seen from the back and they do not take away any value of the cameo.


I love cameos.They are miniature works of art. Because of this I want everyone to learn about them. I have prepared this page to help you out.Cameo have doubled and in some cases tripled in price in the last 10 years.

Cameo History: Stone cameos have been carved since 332 bc. That is when the first agate was found that could be carved. The place was Alexandria, Egypt. Even though shells were carved from the 1500's most shell cameos were carved after the late 1700's.
Cameos for years have been used as photos when there were none. Roman and Greek emperors and rulers were imortalized in stone or shell. The Greek artists of the roman empire carved gods and godesses. In the renaissance, Greco Roman style was predominate in the portraits, myths, and legends carved.

Many famous people have loved cameos.Josephine and Napoleon wore them all the time. Queen Victoria loved them and had many carved for subjects.Thru out the ages they were prized as works of art and very valuable.


The demand for cameos was so great that the stone started to run out and other mediums were sought after. Shell was plentiful along with lava from Mt. Vesuvius. In the early 1800's many people visited Europe on the Grand Tour and wanted souvenirs to take back. Cameos were pictures of what they had seen. Later in WWII men were stationed in Italy and brought back cameos for their women.
For 100 years, 1840-1940, the cameo was the one piece of jewelry most women owned. In the 1930's the diamond industry, trying to get women to buy diamonds, started putting diamonds in cameos.Most women owned a cameo but not a diamond.This is called Cameo habille, or decorated.Most of these are white gold.White gold was not used until 1919.


The traditional cameo shell of Italy is the flame or bullmouth helmet cassis rufa found on the African coast and commonly called the carnelian shell. Today a lot of modern cameos are being carved out of a much larger shell called the emperor helmet; this is a brown and white shell . PLEASE NOTE that all pink cameos advertised as angel skin coral are not; they are pink conch or roselyn shell from the Bahamas. There are very few angel skin coral cameos out there.Angel skin will have an overall pink,white,salmon color.Many times if you look close with a loop your can see tiny dark pitted places-this is the natural growth of the coral.Pink conch looks very hard,pinky and will have a white head on pink background.

PLEASE NOTE:Also I have seen alot of filligree cameos lately with colored stones in frame advertised especially as emeralds or saphires. These are not REAL they are glass.White gold was first used in 1918.

Today shell cameos are still carved in Torre del Greco, a little village at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius. Stone cameos are being cut in Ider Oberstein Germany and are being done by laser.Some stone cameos are still being cut by hand but they are very styalized almost art nouveau looking. A shell cameo has to be cut by hand, as it is too soft and too irregular for machine cutting.A modern master carved cameo is carved from start to finish by one person and is usually signed.It can take a week or more.To become a master carver a student has to graduate from the art institute in Torre Del Greco.There are only 2 women carvers in all of Italy. Most cameos sold today in the U.S.are apprentice caved .A shop can turn out as many as 60 a day with different carvers doing different stages like an assembly line.These cameos are done 100's of times in the same way.Not one of a kinds other than the fact they are hand carved and no 2 are alike.Most are very poorly carved with little detail.

Buying Cameos: The most important advice I can give you is to buy from a reputable dealer who knows about cameos. I have found few do. You need to decide the right size for you. Most people start with a head and go on from there. Do not look for gold in a cameo, 80% of your fine cameos are not set in gold. I sell cameos by carving first,theme,age, size and than setting Many dealers charge 100% more for a cameo set in gold. Because of the increase of gold in price the amount of gold does matter in the frame.Older cameos are set in brass, pinchbeck, gold filled, silver vermeil, or silver. A cameo not in its original setting takes away some of the value. There are many fine unset cameos however that were never set. Many tourists brought home unset cameos from Italy. Many cameos were carved in Italy and set in France, England and Germany. Always look for clean crisp carvings. Full figures and scenes are worth at least 30% more than heads unless a really fine head of god or godess.. Stress marks and lines or natural growth marks are okay 99% of your cameos are going to have some kind of lines in them.Even new cameos have lines in them.It is the way the shell grew or was tossed around in the ocean.A damaged split-cameo cannot be fixed.Some themes are very rare and therefore worth more because of the scarcity.In the UK there are porcelain restorers that pour some kind of filler over the whole cameo and hide the cracks.They call these cameos restored.

Care and Cleaning: Cameos are alive and they need to breathe. They do not like heat. They should be oiled at least once a year. I use mineral oil. I do not like olive oil because if it is not completely removed it will turn a cameo yellow and smelly. Soak for a couple of hours.If really dry looking soak overnight. I use a soft toothbrush, dish soap, and luke warm water, and wash until the oil is gone. Dry thoroughly!!!!! For yellow stains sometimes Neutrogena shampoo and a soft toothbrush will get them out.You may have to do this many times but some yellowing does dissappear after this process.Do not leave any oil on the cameo!!!! DO NOT dip in cleaners, this will dry them out.I see many cameos that look frosted and this is because they have been put in harsh cleaners and the finish is taken off.Do not store in plastic bags,hot places or on cotton pads in boxes-all this drys them out.The best place is just sitting in a drawer in jewelry box,etc.They are brittle is you drop them on floor they may break.Also they can be worn down.You see many rings with no features left on face because the person has rubbed them.You can clean ivory sometimes with toothpaste.Lava is very tricky.I use a white artist eraser.be careful about dipping lava in water.

Age/Fakes: Since most shell cameos are Italian, they can be circa dated to 20 year periods, according to hair styles, jewelry, clothes, scenes and settings. Pin backs are a good clue. Also, white gold was not used until after 1910. Greco Roman noses were predominate from 1910 back.Rebecca by the well was carved up untill 1900.Most cameos with white borders on them were done 1950's up.

Jet cameo will have carve marks and are very light.French jet is glass.Coral cameos are not pink on white they have an all over color and many times have small nubs in the coral.A common practice in Victorian times was also to take an ivory or shell cameo and glue it on an agate background.There are also cameo that are made in wax.These are mostly busts of people.

Today most new cameos have pug noses, sweeping hair, slim bodies like Barbie. Most all cameos for sale in the US today are apprentice carved.There are many fine Master carved cameos being carved today in Italy-most go to Japan.They are very expensive and considered works of art.Most studios today in Italy have at least 2 master carvers on staff.


There are some very fine plastic cameos out, so beware. Since a shell cameo is a shell the back is curved. Also you can see little carvng marks. Also you can get familar with the coloration. Most plastic cameos have a different coloration than shell.You can always do the hot needle test. If it melts, it's plastic.There are also some very hard resins out there that will not melt with the hot needle.

If you buy a old cameo that is wire wrapped make sure that the structure of the cameo is not damaged and you can cut off the wire wrap.Wire wrap takes away from the value of old cameos up to 50%..It is a nice way to set a cameo without doing fabrication but very bad for the value of the cameo to collectors.Also most wire wrapper say the setting is gold when it is gold filled.Very few wire wrappers use solid gold.

Finally do not get overwhemed when shopping. I find people usually buy the first cameo they are drawn to. Cameos are a great investment. They have tripled in price since 1991. They are the finest family heirloom you can pass on. The old ones are getting harder and harder to get. The master carvers are dying out.Please do not pass up wonderful cameos because they are not set in gold.If you are going to be a serious collector of cameos settings will make no difference to you.

I hope this has helped.

For more info please see Anna Miller's book "Cameos Old and New." I am listed in it, along with a few pictures of some of my collection. This is the greatest teaching book available...

 

BIG FAKE CAMEO LOOKS LIKE AMBER ALSO COMES IN WHITE-PINK-BLACK COLOR-NEW BEING MADE IN ENGLANDSELLS FOR AROUND 35.00

BELOW YOU SEE PLASTIC RESIN CAMEOS FROM CHINA.

2 FAKE AGATE CAMEOS THAT ARE NOT AGATE.-GLASS

RESIN CAMEOS OR HARD PLASTIC-COLORS NEVER LOOK LIKE THIS ON REAL SHELL


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Pink conch cameos not angel skin coral.99% of your pink cameo are pink conch.

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MANY HAVE ASKED ABOUT GIOVANNI NOTO.99% OF THE CAMEOS SIGNED G.NOTO ARE BY HIS STUDENTS.HE MANAGED G.APA STUIDIO CARVERS FOR YEARS.HE DIED IN 1985.PLEASE CONTACT THE GIOVANNI APA WEBSITE FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT HIM!

 

CAMEO ARCHIVE


THESE CAMEOS ARE NOT FOR SALE THEY ARE ARCHIVES


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This is an EXTREMELY RARE MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF AN ANGEL AND CENTAUR.I have never seen this before.



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From my own collection the best BABY BACCHUS EVER.Sititng on his throne.The setting is 14 kt tested.High High releif. He is holding some grapes.The size is  1 3/8 by 1 3/4.Has the t bar and a early safety catch.Also has a safety chain.Much nicer in person.He stands up 1/2 inch in frame.From around 1860. CLICK  


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This is a  HUGE WONDERFUL COURTNG SCENE WITH CHERUBS AND SHEEP.


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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF PEACE WITH THE LAMB. I believe this is St Agnes.So much nicer in person

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This is a MUSEUM CAMEO OF 3 MEN WITH STAR AND OTHER SIGN
This is the First Triumvirate:  Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus.

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This is a FINE VICTORIAN CABINET CAMEO SHELL.


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This is a FABULOUS EARLY TURQUOISE GLASS CAMEO OF PSYCHE AND EROS.


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This is  ONE THE RAREST MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEOS I HAVE EVER SEEN AND THE ONLY ONE CARVED WITH THIS THEME


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This is a LARGE MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF ATHENA PATHENON THE GODDESS OF WAR





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From my own collection a very rare CAMEO OF CALVARY.

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This is a HUGE MANGER SCENE CAMEO.Set in 14 kt gold marked and tested. 

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This is a HUGE CAMEO OF THE HOLY FAMILY WITH JOHN 


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This is a HUGE CAMEO OF HERCULES SHOOTING ARROW.IT IS CASED AND ENAMELED.


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This is a HUGE CAMEO OF HECTOR AND PARIS


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Rare cameo of women and cherub with fire


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This is a RARE CAMEO OF PARIS AND HELEN IN 9 CT GOLD


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MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF ARIADNE


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This is a RARE AND FINE COMMASSO CAMEO.


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FABULOUS MARRIAGE CAMEO


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This is a RARE AND FINE CAMEO OF A YOUNG GIRL WITH A DOVE.STANDS FOR LOVE.


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This is a RARE MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF NIKE


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This is a HUGE MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF EROS-CUPID WITH THE ROMA LION.

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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF THE BIRTH OF VENUS.


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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMEN WITH 2 CHERUBS.




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 A FABULOUS  GEORGIAN CAMEO NECKLACE.Some of these scenes I have never seen.The metal is 9 ct gold not marked but tested.From around 1820.The necklace is in excellent condition for its age.A few of them have natural lines seen when held to light.The length is just over 14" a choker which is what most of these always are.The 2 center cameo are11/4 by 1 1/8 nice large size.The smallest on the catch is 1/2 by 3/4.It has a strong slide in catch.There is hebe and Zeus.Hera with children,Hector,the blacksmith,etc.Much nicer in person..CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK

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This is a huge and fine cameo of Zeus and Hera.There is Pegasus flying over a ship.A baby to the left maybe Bacchus.Also 5 sailors and a castle.The size is 2 7/8 by 3 3/4.

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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF NIGHT AND DAY.




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This is a FABULOUS FINELY CARVED CAMEO OF PSYCHE.


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This is a LARGE RARE AND FINE CAMEO OF THE 4 WINDS AND PEACE.


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This is a FINE LARGE MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF ATHENA THE GODDESS OF WAR 



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HUGE CAMEO OF 3 MEN WITH HORSE.

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This is a LARGE CAMEO OF THE ABDUCTION OF PERSEPHONE BY HADES. 


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This is a VERY RARE AND HARD TO GET MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF THE 3 WITCHES.

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Very fine BANDED AGATE CAMEO OF HERCULES WITH NEMEAN LION SET WITH PEARLS.

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Extremely RARE CAMEO OF QUEEN VICTORIA AND ALBERT.

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Extremely RARE CAMEO OF WOMEN WITH CHILD AND MILITARY MEN



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This is a HUGE AND RARE CAMEO OF MERCURY WITH MAYBE PERSEPHONE.



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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED LAVA CAMEO OF SYBIL.


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This is the FINEST MUSEUM QUALITY BACCANTE I HAVE EVER SEEN. So much nicer in person.There are 4 colors of shell and a wonderful patina glow






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This is a FABULOUS CAMEO OF PSYCHE AND EROS AND CHERUBS.


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This is a FABULOUS CAMEO OF A BABY BACCHUS WITH HIS DOG.

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This is a FABULOUS CAMEO OF VENUS AND CUPID.


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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF HERMES OR MERCURY.

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This is an EXTREMELY RARE AND HARD CAMEO TO GET.

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This is a FABULOUS CAMEO OF A ROYAL PERSON


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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED ONE PIECE BANDED AGATE CAMEO OF DIONYSUS.


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This is a HUGE AND FINE MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF MUSE PLAYING PIANO WITH CHERUB PEEKING OVER.

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This is a HUGE COMMASSO CAMEO OF PERSEUS WITH A CORAL MEDUSA.



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FABULOUS ROMANTIC CAMEO OF WOMEN AND CHERUBS

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HUGE CAMEO OF THE ANGEL OF HOPE.


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ONE OF THE FINEST AND MOST INTRICATE CAMEOS I HAVE EVER HAD 


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RARE ENAMELLED CAMEO OF 2 MEN

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Rare MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF HEBE-FRENCH


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MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF CERES OR FLORA.

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XX RARE VERY FINE CAMEO OF VENUS IN THE HALF SHELL BEING DRIVEN BY DOLPHINS.

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RARE MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF ST SEBASTIAN BEING TIED TO A TREE AND THE ANGEL GREETING HIM TO HEAVEN.

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FINEST ANGEL I HAVE EVER HAD IN HEAVY GOLD SETTING.1840

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MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF HERA AND HER CHILDREN.



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MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF THE ANNUNCIATION ANGEL.

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WOW I HAVE NEVER SEEN A CAMEO LIKE THIS BEFORE.Fabulous flowers,with shells and harps and a little gnome sitting in the middle.



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FABULOUS MUSEUM QUALITY TOMMASO SAULINI CAMEO OF THE FAMOUS BRITISH ARTIST ARTHUR ABBOT

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HUGE MUSEUM QUALITY CAMEO OF SYBIL.

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ONE THE THE FINEST NIGHT AND DAY CAMEOS EVER

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FINE CAMEO OF A YOUNG PRICE ALBERT CARVED BY THE SAULINI STUDIOS.

 


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This is an extremely RARE CAMEO OF MT PARNASSUS. On the bottom of it it has MONTE PARNASO.There are 18 figures on it It is set in a bubble glass frame..I have never seen another.ON the bottom there is a slight crack but all is well and I have never opened it up
to look.The carving is intact and very fine.Museum quality.The cameo is 3 1/2 by 2 3/4 huge.The whole piece is 5 by 7.I beleive the paper label on the back is when it was puy iinto the frame.Much older than the label. You will never see another.This is the rarest of them all.

Mount Parnassus (also Mount Parnassos) is a mountain in central Greece that towers above Delphi. According to Greek mythology, this mountain was sacred to Apollo and the home of the Muses.

Mount Parnassus is named after Parnassos, the son of the nymph Kleodora and the man Kleopompous. There was a city of which Parnassos was leader, which was flooded by torrential rain. The citizens ran from the flood, following wolves' howling, up the mountain slope. There the survivors built another city, and called it Lykoreia, which in Greek means "the howling of the wolves

As the Oracle of Delphi was sacred to the god Apollo, so did the mountain itself become associated with Apollo. According to some traditions, Parnassus was the site of the fountain Castalia and the home of the Muses; according to other traditions, that honor fell to Mount Helicon, another mountain in the same range. As the home of the Muses, Parnassus became known as the home of poetry, music, and learning.I will not ship this overseas.


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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF THE DAY ANGEL.She is throwing flowers on the dawn.Unmounted the size is  1 3/4 by 2 1/4.One of the nicest I have seen from around 1850.The line on the back is sea salt. CLICK  CLICK  CLICK




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A RARE AND HIGHILY SOUGHT AFTER HORSES OF THE SUN WITH THE 3 FATES.This is one of my finest cameos from my own collection.It is at least 15 ct gold may be higher not marked but tested.The setting has  8- 5 pt diamonds and an enamel frame.Has the t bar but a newer safety catch.It is  huge 2 7/8 by 3 3/4.These are the horse of the sun and the 3 fates.The cameo does have some lines mainly because the shell is so large and old.They are only seen when held to light.The carving is mint and museum quality.From around 1860.It came from a very important estate near Rodeo Dr.There is one tiny little flap over missing see line.You cannot even tell just looking. Museum quality high relief perfect no wear and very rare.The frame is signed on top see picture .There will never be another. CLICK  CLICK  CLICK  CLICK  CLICK  CLICK


 

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This is a HUGE CAMEO OF THE CROWNING OF ROBERT BRUCE KING OF SCOTTS BY LADY ISABEL.In a pot metal frame.I think once a lid or a side of box.The size is  3 7/8 by 4 3/4 HUGE,There are a few lines on the top part but not that bad.Cannot catch a fingernail in them.From around 1820-30 I believe ot be Georgian..Much nicer in person. From my own collection.Seven figures and a horse.Very light shell. CLICK  CLICK  CLICK  CLICK  


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This is a NICE CAMEO SCENE OF A ROYAL MAN AND WOMEN WITH AN OLD MAN.The setting test to a strong 10 kt gold not marked.Has the  c and t pin and a loop for chain.From around 1860.This may be Soloman.The size is 2 by 2 3/8.There is a naturallight area on the top of the cameo. The cameo has a few naturla lines.CLICK CLICK  CLICK  


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This is a  WONDERFUL CAMEO OF AN EAGLE AT ITS NEST WITH A WOMEN AND A BABY.

Maybe the eagle has stolen the baby and the women climbed up there to get it.The setting  tets to 10 kt gold Has the c and t pin. The size is 2 by 2 1/4  from around 1880.Another cameo from my own collection.I have never seen this one before.Much nicer in person.The eagle is in full relief.The cameo is mint. I love these kinds of scenes the carving is super.CLICK  CLICK  CLICK


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This is a MUSEUM QUALITY CARVED CAMEO OF ARIADNE. The setting is 15 ct gold not marked but tested.Has the c and t pin.The size is  1 3/4 by 2 1/4.Has a safety chain also.From around 1860.MUch nicer in perosn.Sge is perfect. CLICK  CLICK  CLICK  



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This is a  MUSEUM QUALITY NIGHT AND DAY CAMEO.IT is set in a mosiac frame signed Italy.IT stands up by itself.From my own collection.The size is  2 1/8 by 3 1/8.The cameo itself is  1 3/8 by 1 3/4. Day or Eos has the sun and Nyx or night has the owl .Much nicer in person.I have not seen another set in micro mosiac frame. CLICK  CLICK  CLICK  CLICK 





 

 

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