The Cameo - A Tiny Work of Art

I often receive emails from browsers that come across my shop while searching for Cameos... (my specialty!) Much interest comes from never having the immense pleasure of seeing such interesting and unique depictions :) Many pieces in my shop "Ain't your grandma's cameo" that's for sure ;)

Not that there is anything wrong with the very classic look of a profile... in fact it can be quite interesting as just in looking at a profile I am able to date a cameo, most times. Victorian and turn of the century profile's often boast a very Romanesque silhouette with straight nose, rounded full jaw and up-swept hair. As the decades march by you can on occasion find a super roaring twenties gal! With her short cropped hair, boyish attire and on occasion a cigarette there is no doubt when that style piece was created... Later, vintage cameos may have the gal of honor with long tresses and up-turned nose. Usually these are from the 1950's-1960's. Every collection should have at least one (two?...three?!) of these classic profiles, but for the more seasoned collector many find it much fun to hunt down very rare and one of a kind scene's :)

As not only a dealer, but a collector myself, I too crave such artworks to grace my own personal gem wardrobe! From Mythological to themes of a Religious nature to symbolic there is much beauty to be discovered in cameos :)
During the Victorian era many carvers were commissioned to create such one of a kind, wearable works of art. Perhaps a Gentlemen sought to tell his beloved how he felt... not with words, but perhaps by having a bouquet of flowers carved from shell. Floral cameos have such fun secret messages... Daisy's meaning pure and innocent, roses (of course!) symbolize Love, Peonies hint at romance and prosperity etc.. etc.. This is a wonderful sentiment that can certainly be used in re-gifting a lovely antique or vintage cameo showing such a carved bouquet!

Religious cameos are highly sought after to show faith in a most bold manner... There is something SO special when you behold such a piece... Cameos depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus, Saints or angels/cherubs can elicit strong emotions for not only the wearer, but anyone who is able to share and view such a masterpiece! I, personally, often experience a true sense of peace :)

Some of my clients relish in the Mythological~ who can blame them?! Such fun to assemble a collection on all the Mythological tales.. the Gods and Goddesses each have their own symbolic tokens. Some examples being, Diana, The Goddess of the Hunt, is often seen with a crescent moon upon her hair and other times with a quiver, bow and a deer or dog. Cupid, often rendered with his true love Psyche may be seen with butterfly's to illustrate psyche as the Goddess of the Soul! Day and Night is a coveted depiction that is not easily found, but is easily spotted with the stars, owl and rays from the sun :) Whenever a Mythological cameo is added into my shop I take great care to research and explain (often times at great length heehee!) so that the reader can have a little education on the subject they are viewing.

There are of course several ways to form a Mythological collection... You could focus on one God/Goddess In particular.. or perhaps search for one depiction of each?! It can take alot of time, but the rewards and pleasure you will receive are great :-)

My cameos have become almost a little escape from the "every-day" ...viewing them is like taking a mini-vacation! I have one collector client that actually kept her cameo treasures in her locked drawer at work~ When she needed a break from the stress of her day she would admire her collection and she once told me it was just the kind of break she needed...and much easier than taking a train over to a museum to be able to appreciate some artwork ;)

I will close with this thought... and that is to build a collection that brings you personal enjoyment... Cameos are little wearable works of art and make PHENOMENAL investments and family heirlooms~ Hope this little article captures your interest so you too can research and enjoy the craftsmanship of cameos while browsing Ruby Lane :-)

Joy Korzenko

Joy's Tiny Treasures on Ruby Lane is run by Joy Korzenko and is located In Long Island, New York. Specializing in Antique and Vintage Cameos, I strive to offer A+ customer service, an Exciting selection of items for every collector's taste's and pricing to suit all budgets :) Layaways are encouraged so please do come browse~ Open 24-7 for your shopping convenience!

Visit: Joy's Tiny Treasures

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