From ancient Sumerian and Egyptian cultures to the Victorian age, cameos are shrouded in an air of mystery. Historians and jewelry collectors still debate the origin of the word and their exact use. But one thing remains true, this style of jewelry and self adornment has lasted for thousands of years and doesn’t show signs of disappearing.
The first cameos made their appearance around 3,000 BC in the form of scarabs carved into stone. They were meant to symbolize the sun, serve as amulets and represent courage. By the time the Roman Empire swung around, cameos were status symbols and given as tokens of affection to departing soldiers. The small circles and ovals moved throughout history. They became extremely popular during the Italian Renaissance as prized jewelry for royalty, and again reemerging in the 19th century as a favorite of England’s Queen Victoria.
Pictorially, cameos represent any number of objects. Portraits, animals, flowers, pastoral and classical scenes are just a few of the designs to pick from when you’re collecting antique objects d’art. The designs found in contemporary cameos are limitless.
Peruse the collection of colorful cameos at AprilM.com by Extasia to add a classical, but youthful, touch to your accessories wardrobe. Bracelets, earrings and necklaces utilize glass cameos in bronze mountings giving the traditional designs a contemporary appeal.
If you’re taste tends toward fine jewelry, you’ll find stunning hand-carved shell cameos set in silver and gold by Amedeo Scognamiglio at amedeonyc.com. The use of semi-precious stones in rings, cuffs and bracelets of exquisite design manage to re-create jewelry that seems to be a direct relic of the past.