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Although occasionally used in Roman cameos, the earliest prevalent use of shell for cameo carving was during the Renaissance. In the mid 18th century, explorations revealed new shell varieties. Helmet shells (Cassis tuberosa) from the West Indies, and queen conch shells (Eustrombus gigas) from the Bahamas and West Indies, arrived in Europe. This sparked a large increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells.

In Britain, this revival first occurred during King George III's reign. As with many fashion trends of the time, this one was imported from France and stemmed from a heightened interest in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, due to Napoleon's campaigns in the south. A cameo diadem carved from a single shell, depicting a scene from greek mythology, framed by gold, pearls and precious and semiprecious stones, was a present to Josephine from her brother-in-law Joachim Murat.

King George's granddaughter, Queen Victoria, was a major proponent of the cameo trend, to the extent that they would become mass produced by the second half of the 19th century. After 1850 demand for cameos grew, as they became popular souvenirs of the Grand Tour among the middle class.

This ring features an early 1900's Czech Glass Cameo. They were obtained from a family who had passed them down through their generations and decided to sell them, and hail from the Czech Republic. Now is your chance to own a piece of Edwardian history!

The cameos are porcelain, which is, itself, a rare find, these days, and measure 10x14mm. I have set the cameos in gold tone frame settings with lever back findings. Imagine wearing earrings that Lady Mary Crawley might have owned! Check my other listings for the matching ring.

Meet the owner of regencyaustentation.

Laura Boyle

Newly Set Antique Czech Edwardian Cameo Earrings

Overview

  • Handmade item
  • Ships worldwide from Massachusetts, United States
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