Cameos have been recorded in history as early as the 15th century but were really rocketed to popularity during the Victorian age by the original trend-setter herself, Queen Victoria.
A cameo is a carved in relief on a shell or stone. Sometimes the shell will have different layers that are different colors and the artist can use this substrate to "paint" the portrait in the cameo. Cameos are often portraits of women, but almost anything can be depicted, couples, landscape scenes, still lifes (it really is the correct plural form of still life, I looked it up!) with fruit or plants, Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses, Biblical persons and events, pets, such as dogs, and even larger animals like horses.
Some cameos were carved to commemorate living heroes and leaders in their likenesses.
Costume jewelry cameos can be made from plastic or pressed glass. Sometimes the plastic is made in two layers to simulate shell and sometimes the glass can be back carved.
Word and Photo by me.
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