Beautiful carnelian shell (Cassis rufa species) hand-carved cameo measures 1-1/2" and my information says that it is a Scognamiglio from Torre del Greco in Naples, Italy c. 1930's. It is set in heavy gold plating with a silver rope band. Excellent quality. Has a loop for use as a pendant !
FAQ The term cameo originally meant carving a design into a single material in bas-relief. They were usually done using shell, stone or other suitable materials. Indications are that cameos were first carved in the 15th or 16th century where the subject matter was derived from the Greek and Roman period. However, popularity flourished during the reign of Queen Victoria. Later cameos were mass produced and molded using celluloid, bakelite, lucite and newer resins. Popular now are laser made cameos because of their intricate detail and color combinations especially those made with gemstones. Intaglio jewelry is reverse cut from a cameo - cut from the back and sometimes highlighted with handpainting, enamels or other colored glass or gemstones.
Remember to - Dust your cameo regularly with a soft brush and try to get in the nooks and crannies of the carving. Do not use a lot of pressure. You can rinse a shell cameo with warm water and dry with a soft cloth. Shell cameos are easily damaged, so do not use harsh soap or any other cleaner including jewelry cleaners. Most Mother-of-pearl cameos can be cleaned with mild soap and water being careful to dry completely and polish with a soft cloth. Avoid drastic temperature changes with all cameos as this can cause fractures and cracks.
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