Thank you for visiting my site. I sell my vintage cameos and costume jewelry on Etsy.
A cameo is usually made of precious or semi-precious stone. One material is carved into a figure — the most common type being a profile portrait of a person’s head. This is then set upon the other type of material which provides a background of another colour to offset the figure.
A cameo may also be made from (banded) agate, where different layers of the same stone have different colors. Sometimes dyes are used to enhance the colors.
Cameos are often worn as jewellery. Cameos of great artistry were made in Greece dating back as far as the 6th century BC. They were very popular in ancient Rome and have enjoyed periodic revivals, notably in the early Renaissance, and again in the 17th and 18th centuries. This visual art form has even inspired at least one writer of more recent times: the nineteenth-century Russian poet Lev Mey composed a cycle of six poems entitled Камеи (Cameos, 1861), as reflections on each of the Roman rulers from Julius Caesar to Nero.