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Antique Rarest Cameos | Ruby Lane

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About Antique Rarest Cameos

Our Service Pledge
I will friendly answer to all email within 24 hours. I guarantee the authenticity of all my cameos and jewels. I stand behind my items and check them personally before listing any for sale. If there is any defect in an item it is clearly stated in my description. My 10 years in the trade of antique cameos is your guarantee. If you need any further information on the items listed please just ask, I'm always happy to answer! I have a fantastic layaway plan, no fees or further charges or interest are applied. So don't be shy, just ask! You'll see, I'm very easy to deal with! If you are pleased you can subscribe to my mailing list, you'll be informed for every new item I frequently add in my shop! Thanks for your attention.
About Us
Welcome to my Ruby Lane shop, my name is Giovanna (Jenny as my daughter calls me). I'm an expert about antique cameos, I was born in Italy, in Torre del Greco, near Naples. Torre del Greco is the historical capital of the cameos and of coral, the best cameos in the world are carved there, my birthtown has been known world wide since Roman times for the outstanding quality of its cameo and coral craftsmanship. Naturally, living there and seeing everyday all the artworks that our carvers are able to make, I fell in love with cameos, and in particular with the antique cameos. Thanks to a friend who is an antique cameos expert I learned, about 15 years ago, all that I needed to become an expert about antique cameos, working with him for many years. Then I created my own business here in London (United Kingdom) because here there are many chances to acquire the best cameos for my business. I'm married, my sweet husband Frankie helps me in my cameo trips, my daughter Tina is 20, I hope she should be follow in my footsteps and becomes an expert about antique cameos. I have a cameos web site, I think it is lovely, email me to know its address and after you can take a look, maybe there you can find the cameo of your dreams! I only trade in Museum Quality cameos and in Excellent Quality ones. You will never find a poor carved cameo in my shop as I even not consider to buy one of them. The term Museum Quality is used and abused, as here as on other websites, I'm proud to say that this is not the case of my shop. When you will read my detailed descriptions of each item of mine, you'll note that I always specify the quality. So you can shop with confidence as what you see will be what you get and I must say that I have always been told that my cameos, when received, are better than in the pictures!

For honesty and respect for you, everything which I write in the presentation and description of the piece, I try and I hope to be able to demonstrate it and to evidence it with the pictures.
Large pictures, (macro) can't lie, they evidence the beautiful particulars to see but also the defects that a serious dealer, absolutely does not have to try to hide.
The pictures represent the only serious and concrete way for giving real meaning to the written words.
With various angles-shot and variations of lights and shadows I try to put in evidence even the tiniest particular, the eventual imperfections and the beauty of the facial features, of the body, of hair, of the clothes, of the objects and animals in the cameo.
The face expression, the muscles of the face, of the neck, of the body, the right proportions then and the three-dimensionality of the piece, represent a true added value exclusively due to the skill, today lost, of great '800 masters carvers.
The beautiful is always beautiful.
It is not necessary to be expert in order to appreciate it, but having the opportunity, through the large (macro) pictures, to observe, to analyze and to estimate all those aspects above mentioned, it will be easy for you to value if you are looking at a true museum quality piece, an artwork or a low quality piece and eventually to better invest your money.
Only in this way to your personal pleasure to own an unique and high quality piece, through the years, you'll be able to add the pleasure of a sure increment of value to your investment. For more information, please, read the pages in the "About Cameos" section of my web site.
Now, if you are pleased, you can read something about cameos and in particular about Museum Quality cameos.
There are many important facts to consider before giving a commercial value to a cameo and they are:
The quality of the carving.
The rarity of the subject.
The age.
The conditions.
The frame.
The material.
The quality of the carving is the first thing that must be seen. The details of a cameo have to be crisply done. It is not important if there are many details, but is important how these details are carved. There are cameos that are carved just like a sculpture, of course this depends on the skill of the carver and from the shell that he had to work with. We can distinguish the carving of cameos in several categories, they are:
Museum Quality.
Almost Good.

The rarity of the subject is another important reason to give it a value. Subject as Flora, Medusa, or Bacchantes and other Mythological subjects were more popular in Georgian (1720/1837) and Victorian era (1837/1901), but finding a front face Medusa, or a front face Bacchante is very rare, so in these cases we can say that that subject is "Rare".

The age of a cameo is important too, the best cameo period goes from the late 18th century to the end of the Victorian Era, but of course if two cameos have the same age, the best carved one will be more valuable. Dating a cameo is not so easy. Fakes are rare, but there is always the possibility to find one. To avoid the chance to get a fake you need to have a little knowledge of the history of dresses, hair and of fine arts. So, if a lady or gentleman depicted on a cameo wear a dress from 1850 and know that it was the 1850 style, you can suppose the cameo was carved around 1850. We always have to remember that cameos reflect the dress and hair style of the period when they were carved. We need to consider also the condition of the material, shell is more subject to deterioration than hardstones or coral, so a shell cameo may look older than a hardstone cameo of the same period. And remember "Retrousee Noses" (just like the Barbie Doll nose) are typical of 20th Century

The frame of a cameo is of course important, but remember that the carving is the main thing you have to look. If an excellent cameo has a gorgeous gold frame too, it makes a cameo more valuable, but sometimes the best carved cameo has a very simple frame made of brass or pinchbeck.

The condition of a cameo is a very important point to makes it more or less valuable. Most of the antique cameos have stress lines or hairlines due to their age or often by origin. We can find lines even in the new cameos, this is a peculiarity of the shell, and then we are talking of 100/200 years old cameos. These stress lines or incipient cracks or very tiny chips don't have to make us worried, unless the cameo is broken or has a large crack. The most important point is that the carving should be not worn.

The material from which a cameo is made is another point of evaluation, shell is the most common material, then we have the hardstones, the coral, the lava and the ivory, which is the rarest.

After the considerations above a cameo can be approximately valued, but the final evaluation and price depend on the demand of the market also.

Thanks for your kind attention and for stopping, Jenny.
Antique Cameos LTD Giovanna Di Rosa
10 Philpot Lane
London EC3M 8AA
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