Vintage Cameo Pendant Brooch, Antique Shell Cameo, Victorian Cameo Jewelry, Vintage AMCO Jewelry

Vintage Cameo Pendant Brooch, Antique Shell Cameo, Victorian Cameo Jewelry, Vintage AMCO Jewelry



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Genuine Hand Carved Shell Cameo, 12k Gold Filled Setting


This vintage cameo pendant brooch has a stylized artistic quality I couldn't resist. There is something very captivating about the maiden's large curls, delicate jewelry and lovely full features. Achieving voluptuous height and depth in a high relief carving like this is a master carver's calling card.

Wearable as a pin, the addition of your own chain will convert this antique shell cameo instantly to a pendant. This lovely vintage piece would make a romantic memento or token of affection for someone very special. As with all the jewelry in my shop, gift wrapping is always complimentary.

A collectible piece of Victorian silhouette jewelry, the cameo bears the hallmark of A. Micallef & Co., founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1919. The cameo is bezel set with a fine milgraine edge and measures 1 1/8 inch by 7/8 inch (29mm x 23mm) including the frame.* I have given it a very gentle cleaning although small amounts of original patina still remain. It has been conditioned with pure white mineral oil for protection from dry air.

Cameo jewelry is fragile by nature and should be stored separately from other jewelry which might be abrasive. In beautiful vintage condition, the cameo has no chips and just a few superficial hairlines visible on one side at the top. These are indicative of age and do not extend through the shell. The setting shows a few fine scratches consistent with age, and as shown in the photos, there is a small nick on the back edge where it was previously tested for metal purity. A faint hallmark inside the frame indicates that the setting is 12k gold filled. With sharp eyes and a magnifying glass this is also where you will find the maker's mark, "AMCO."

*The mercury dime shown throughout my listing photos is the same size as a modern US dime. It measures 18mm in diameter and is shown to help illustrate scale.

CAMEOS have been carved as jewelry since the times of ancient Rome and Greece. The earliest cameos depicted philosophers and ancient deities and were carved of hard gemstone such as agate and onyx. As cameos became more popular, artists switched to shell which was both easier to carve and more affordable. When held to the light, shell cameos are translucent with subtle color variations and softly curved backgrounds, never completely flat. Cameos reached the height of their popularity in the Victorian era of the mid 1800's, when they were still carved from shell but also began to be made of glass and even resin, which is the most popular material used for cameos today.

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5 out of 5 stars

Total shop reviews


Crystal Jan 24, 2020

5 out of 5 stars
Beautifully packaged and arrived quickly. Earrings aren't too heavy.

Purchased item:

Angie Oct 15, 2019

5 out of 5 stars
Love my Earrings they are so pretty even better in person!!!!!!

Purchased item:

cranecarol3 Sep 28, 2019

5 out of 5 stars
Super quick turn around and even better than the photo! Well worth the cost.

Purchased item:

Mary Lee Sep 23, 2019

5 out of 5 stars
These are bigger than I expected, exactly perfect, I had to choose between black and rose gold. Glad I decided on black, given the size, black gives them more character and edge. I love them. Super quick shipping and delivery from US to Canada.

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