Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Making a Cameo appearance...

I've always been fascinated with beautiful carved jewellery, cameo and intaglio.  In fact, I often think back to that intaglio ring I found in a jewellery store on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence years ago - why didn't that fit my finger!  

Then I found this Bottega Veneta cameo cuff at NetAPorter a few months ago, and as with all things beautiful, its now sold out! Grrrr...  But I love its modernization; blackened oxidised sterling silver.  

Then I saw this lovely post at Haute Design the other day... and I thought, yep it looks like a revival is coming -  a resurgence if you will,  as it occurred during the Renaissance and during the Neo-Classical court of Napoleon and of course during Queen Victoria's reign.   Semi precious stones, shell, glass, amber, jet, bakelite, coral and lava have also been used for cameos, with artisans in Naples and in Germany specialising in their craft with skills being passed down to them from generations of skilled cameo carvers before them.

In its 'classic' form, the cameo is a dual coloured, dual layered object with a 'positive' relief carved generally of light coloured gemstone (agate, onyx, sardonyx) or shell (during Victorian era) attached onto a bold coloured background (black or blue).  But in its 'modern' form, the cameo is bright, bold and attached as a detail to crystals, gold, and wood with images ranging from profiles, skulls, and peacocks.   

But don't confuse an 'intaglio' carved piece of jewellery with a 'relief' cameo.  Where a relief cameo is a 'positive' carving, (set 'up' from the base), an 'intaglio' carving is negative and is carved 'into' the base material (stone/glass.)

Wow, I love all this history and craftsman knowledge... all this from one bold cameo cuff.!  I'm hooked.

Bottega Veneta Cameo Cuff

Amedeo Scognamiglio
carved ring

Oversized cameo

Classic Cameo with black lace and
black leather cuff

Cameo meets punk meets glamour


Audrey said...

Oh i'm loving those cameo's, and with my new iMac it all looks much better

classiq said...

The Bottega Veneta cuff is beautiful. Thank you for all the info, so fascinating. :)

Sarah Klassen said...

Beautiful! I adore cameos and definitely would like to purchase one... necklace or bracelet I think :)

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