Masterpieces of the Jewelers Art A Commesso cameo is a name given to a portrait jewel that combines a carved cameo with enameled gold and other precious materials such as diamonds and gemstones. They truly are masterpieces of the jewelers’ art. Commessi were principally made during the Renaissance by jewelers in Paris and Italy. Commesso
Hardstone Agate cameo Brooch Pin with five layers Caroline Bonaparte Cameo sells for a record price of $67000 at Bonhams auction in 2015. Notable not just for the craftsmanship evident throughout, but for it’s historical value. The brooch sold for nine times the estimate. This is a late 18th/ early 19th century hardstone cameo brooch
Carvers and Collectors: The Lasting Allure of Ancient Gems Since antiquity, gemstones have been engraved using the same methods. Follow the process from start to finish in this short video from the Getty Museum. This follows the recreation of an Ancient Greek Scarab gemstone seal by Epimenes 500B.C. Exhibition March – September, 2009 at the
Review of the Cameo Exhibition at the Met European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Special Exhibitions Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York – March 8, 2005–January 29, 2006. I visited this exhibition at the Met in New York. I flew over from London, England as this exhibition was of such a high quality. I
This photo shows a selection of tools for gem engraving. The carving points are made from mild steel and are set in a precision gem carving lathe. The tool is pressed against the stone and is coated with a diamond paste. This action removes material from the gemstone. The highly skilled gem engraver can create
The Ptolemaeus cameo, also known as the Ptolemaeer Cameo Pictured is the Ptolemaeus cameo, also known as the Ptolemaeer Cameo. Vienna (Ptolemy, Ptrolemaer-kameo) Cameo Sardonyx (11 layers). Also identified as Ptolemy II Philadelphos and Arsinoe, but has been argued as Claudian and Severan. Evidence that it may have switched identities with the Gonzaga cameo during
The Gemma Claudia is a Roman five-layered onyx cameo of c.49. It later found its way into the Habsburg collections now in the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna (AS Inv. No. IX A 63). It is 12 cm high and set in a gold rim. It depicts two cornucopia (with an eagle between), out of which sprout
The superb jasper carving of the head of Medusa by Benedetto Pistrucci, shown above. This really is breathtaking when viewed in close up and is almost 3 inches in size. This was my personal favorite of all of the magnificent cameos that I saw at the Cameo Appearances exhibition at the Met.
The Renaissance lapis lazuli cameo carving with a portrait of Cosimo I de’ Medici. (1519-1574), Duke of Florence and Grand Duke of Tuscany. From the Grand-ducal workshops, Florence. Date: ca. 1567–69 Culture: Italian (Florence) Carved into Lapis lazuli Based on a portrait-medallion. Dimensions: 2 3/16 x 1 13/16 x 3/8 in. (5.5 x 4.7 x
The greatest cameo carver of the 18th Century Pistrucci carved this for Angelo Bonelli. This was later bought by the cameo collector Richard Payne Knight, who was told, by Bonelli, that this was an ancient greek cameo. Later Knight showed this cameo to Pistrucci and refused to accept his explanation of having carved it himself.
A religious cameo with scenes from the Old and New Testament. The cameo is carved from a three layer agate. Clever use is made of the top black layer. This has been thinned to create brown shading on the figures which are carved in the white layer. The outside of the cameo has been rounded
Antique Cameo signet ring An example of a Cameo ring. This has a side profile portrait carving of King Arthur. The cameo stone is a smoky quartz. This is actually an Antique ring from the 19th century.
A double portrait, of Ptolomy II and Arsinoe II The Gonzaga cameo in layered Agate hardstone. Believed to be of the couple Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Arsinoe II, from Alexandria, carved in Sardonyx, with three layers. From the 3rd century BC. Bought in 1814 and originating from Malmaison, a gift from Josephine Beauharnais to Alexander